Memory Loss: What is Normal? When do I need help?

By Carla Adamic, The Reutlinger Community

Carla Adamic Outside



We all forget things from time to time. Be it forgetting where we put our keys when we got home or forgetting which year we went to Disneyland for the first time. As we age, the number of memories we keep in storage in our heads gets so large that our long-term memory prioritizes some things and de-prioritizes others. This is normal.


But not all memory loss is normal. Sometimes it’s a sign of something more significant. How do we know the difference? Here are a few signs that your memory loss might require a trip to the doctor to learn if it’s just forgetfulness or something potentially life changing.


1. Forgetting How To Do Things You Do On a Regular Basis


If our long-term memory is like a bank vault where we occasionally need to put away things we don’t necessarily need very often, our short-term memory is more like our wallets where we keep our money and credit cards that we use on a regular basis. Forgetting how to do things that you do on a regular basis is a potential sign of an issue that may eventually require memory care.


2. Repeating Stories or Phrases in the Same Conversation


Have you been hearing people tell you that “you just told me that story?” or “you said that five minutes ago?” and you don’t remember doing so? That’s a potential warning sign that might need attention.


3. Trouble Learning and Adapting to the New


Whether you’re a quick learner or a slow learner, when forming new skills and learning new things begins to become more difficult than usual, you should act decisively to find out what is happening.



4. Forgetting Things More Often Than You Used Too


This is seemingly the most obvious sign, but, as we said above, forgetting is normal. If you are forgetting more than normal, it might be more than forgetfulness. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you really are forgetting more than normal.


The Reutlinger Community has many decades of skills and expertise in memory care. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at (925)648-2800 or visit us at