All too often, individuals above a certain age may have incidents of memory lapses or other cognitive episodes that may leave them wondering “Is this normal?” “Am I getting dementia?”. Here are some guidelines to distinguish between normal vs. abnormal memory impairment:



Forgetting momentarily where something was placed (i.e. keys) or where one was going.

Increased forgetfulness where you cannot perform tasks of daily living safely such as cooking (i.e. leaving stove on while not cooking, or placing a kitchen towel on an open flame.

Delay recall of recent events, but eventually will recall.

Amnesia, no recall of recent events even the day prior.

Needing more time to learn new tasks or information.

Not able to learn new tasks or information.

Experiencing “tip of the tongue” phenomenon, and word retrieval will eventually come through.

Having difficulty expressing thoughts secondary to poor word retrieval and stringing a cohesive sentence together. Experiencing “aphasia”- a language disorder affecting a person’s ability to communicate.

Information summarized from:

If your memory incidents are frequent and interrupting your daily life, as well as quality of life, talk to your general practitioner about your concerns.–more