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Hi there, Since I’ve become my mom’s care provider about 4 years ago, I’ve noticed how bad my memory has become. It started about 2 years ago, or so. Anyway, those close to me don’t think it’s a big deal; including my doctor. So where do I go now? Does anyone know what specific words I can use the next time I see the doc? Family & friends tell me it’s normal for this to happen after retirement because a person isn’t required to “be on the ball” like they were when they were working. I retired when I was 56, now I’m 62 and it’s frightening how bad my memory is! Any advice? I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

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Is caring for mom stressful? That alone could cause you to have your own issues with memory loss. Maybe it is time to consider mom living in a care facility. I cared for my mom for four years and when that was no longer the case it took about a year until I felt my brain was firing properly again. Maybe it should be called caregiver recovery. It has been three years now since mom was moved to a facility, one year since she passed and I still feel in some ways I am still recovering.
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Add me to the list of people whose memory has been challenged by caregiving.

Silky, I don't agree with those who are telling you that it's normal to lose memory capacity after retirement. In fact, given that we don't have to focus on how to get along with lazy people, "not my job" people, grouchy or not very well trained bosses, I think we're freer to develop our mental capacity.

Still, caregiving does challenge memory, or at least short term memory, in my experience. This week I just couldn't remember which day it was, but I can still picture surveys of projects on which I worked back in the 90's.

With caregiving, I think more short term vs. long term focus is required, and on more "fight or flight" episodes. Although long term planning is still a factor, the short term catastrophes or emergencies become more prevalent, more life threatening and more important.

I don't what specific solutions would be recommended. For me though, it's reading. It refocuses my mind, and in exciting adventure novels there's usually much more drama and immediate need for action, so my mind is shifted from a medical emergency to wondering how the author created an escape for the characters.

If you can create some semblance of home work, though, I think that would also provide a focus. I tried to scope out my tasks, using a technique I learned on one of my jobs. It requires identifying goals, tasks required to reach those goals, and scheduling them in order of importance as well as precedence. It helps stimulate my memory.
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Hi heysilky,
My name is Patrick, I am new at caring, my mom has vascular dementia and both my mom and dad are in there late seventies. I am a full-time care for both of them since last October. I used to be a 5 star hotel manager but I realized that my parents mean more to me than my career so I quit. I have found that my memory is foggy at times,I have to write out what I need to for the day so I can get things done otherwise it might not get done. Sometimes I can't remember what day it is , did I give them their medicine , have I done all that needs to be done. I am the youngest of 8 kids (47) 6 more live in the town , help as they may I sometimes feel I need support out side the home .
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Extreme stress and depression can also affect short term memory. Being a caregiver for a dementia parent is extremely stressful. Have you looked into therapy? Are you getting any respite from your mom?

My parents have been in a memory care since last July and I still don't feel like I have rested from the extreme stress I endured for the last 5 years or so.
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When my dad lived with me and after he went into a nursing home I was alarmed at how poor my memory became. I forgot to sign him up for Medicaid! I had totally forgotten until the social worker at the NH asked me how my dad's Medicaid application was coming along. Talk about panic! I got it done but the point is that I was taking care of almost everything for myself, my dad, and my then-teenage daughter and it was more than my brain could handle.
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hesilky, raising hand, another club member of the missing our memory group :P

Oh my gosh, I use to be so sharp it would even scare me. Now having issues trying to remember things is scaring me even more. It's like there is a timer lock on my memory's file cabinets as sometimes it can take me 5 minutes or 5 hours to recall what I was trying to remember.

This all happened back when I was doing some caregiving for my parents. Even though it mostly was logistical, it was the lack of sleep that I think threw the curve off. The last parent passed just over a year ago, I am still in recovery mode. And I find myself napping a lot :P
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FF, I like it - the Missing Memory Group! Great name for a caregiver's club.

Isn't it wonderful to be able to take a nap, with the phone turned off so you don't have to worry about getting an emergency call?
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Time for a second opinion from a new doctor!
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GardenArtist, kinda like the Red Hat club, except half of us forget to wear our hats :O
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Abo makes a good point. I too had to write out plans for the day. To add some beauty to the planning, I always used beautiful note pads, or beautiful calendars (check out the Lang calendars). Years ago I bought some inexpensive $1 calendars at Michael's; the spaces are small, but they're good for planning.

Every time I looked at my daily and weekly schedule, my mood was relaxed and the anxiety softened and I felt better. "Softened" isn't a normal way of characterizing anxiety, but that's exactly what I felt - less stress, more relaxed, and just not as tensely wired and tense as I had before gazing on those beautiful motifs on the planners.
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