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Suspect that DH's memory is failing - how do you cope?

(28 Posts)
sandelf78a Wed 20-Sep-17 16:27:59

Recently DH has had uncharacteristic problems calling up the word he is searching for, and he is generally more irritable - I think hearing might be less good too. How do you cope with these things?

Ilovecheese Wed 20-Sep-17 16:32:42

It could be that the hearing problem is making him more irritable, could you persuade him to go for a hearing test?

Not sure about calling up words, I think this happens to all of us at times, and needn't be anything to worry about.

gillybob Wed 20-Sep-17 16:45:00

I'm not sure how old your DH is sandelf78a ? But I'm only 55 (well I say only wink) and have been like this for many years due to an ongoing neurological condition. It has been getting worse recently and now I sometimes find myself searching for even the most basic words which can be very frustrating and embarrassing (especially at work).
As far as I understand this "calling up words" thing can be associated with several neurological conditions but can also be just a symptom of getting older. Probably an idea to ask your DH to pop to the GP about his hearing loss (if indeed he has this) some men can become very selectively deaf.

Greyduster Wed 20-Sep-17 17:13:55

Something that happens to both DH and I frequently but I just put it down to getting older. My DH suffers from hearing loss too. We are both concerned for DH's sister at the moment who seems to be repeating things she's said only minutes earlier and can't remember having said them. She asked me three times in fairly quick succession early on Friday morning whether the dog had been out into the garden hmm.

kittylester Wed 20-Sep-17 17:18:16

Not finding simple words can be an early sign of dementia so, if you can, I'd get him to the gp.

If it is dementia and he is suitable for treatment, the earlier you start the better.

cornergran Wed 20-Sep-17 18:02:22

Maybe start with the hearing test and see what it shows. If there is a hearing problem it could be slowing his responses down while he tries to work out what he heard, that's how I know Mr C's hearing aid needs attention. Mr C also gets less even if he can't hear. Also, as kitty says it could also be an early sign of some sort of dementia. If your husband would do it why not ask the GP's opinion about both?

NemosMum Thu 21-Sep-17 10:49:36

Problems with word-finding increase with normal ageing, as many Gransnetters will testify! This is a gradual process. However, if this has been happening quickly, it needs investigating. Whatever the rate of onset, because of the irritability, I would be in touch with the GP. Even if he doesn't want to go, you can have a chat with the GP about him. Any good GP will take a note of your concerns and be ready to act whenever possible.

vickya Thu 21-Sep-17 11:09:18

I've had a problem recalling words for a while now, I'm 72 so think it is that. I seem ok apart from that. Mental processes slow down too as you get older for some people and I had to get hearing aids, as am just into the category that needs them. I was told the sooner you get them the better as hearing deteriorates if failing but the aids improve the actual ability in your ears and brain if you begin early enough. It does take a while to be seen and sorted, depending on your area, so begin early. Aids are very high-tech on the NHS now, God bless it.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 21-Sep-17 11:27:02

Sandelf78a. Feeling pressurised,stress can also have the same effect.
Over loading the mind,expectations we are unable to fill and feeling guilty over it. Wouldn't we all love to be young again.
How many of us get a 'blank' every now and then
Yes even students especially around the time of the gcse's.
Don't think the worst .There is always someone around the corner ready to jump to conclusions. Give it time don't go rushing DH to the doc and certainly don't put ideas into his head your fears may be totally unfounded.

mags1234 Thu 21-Sep-17 11:30:41

My I husband won't wear his hearing aid and it is so annoying constantly repeating! Since he had strokes he finds it difficult to recall words and mentally goes through the alphabet to find the start of the word. I'm late 60 s and find I often can't find a word, think it's age. My daughter says it's like " meet the rockers" when neither of us recall a word but can know what the other means! Why not both get free hearing tests and take it from there?

mags1234 Thu 21-Sep-17 11:31:27

Fockers not rockers

W11girl Thu 21-Sep-17 11:42:54

I would visit the GP with him on the basis of the hearing loss, so as not to alarm him, and take it from there. I would say like everyone else that I also cannot bring words to mind frequently, but I am not worried about it. I sometimes think it is because I am thinking too fast or distracted with a head full of other things!!

Nonnie Thu 21-Sep-17 11:47:00

Everyone over the age of 55 is entitled to a free hearing test. If you have a local Specsavers they do it for the NHS.

I don't understand why so many are happy to wear glasses because their sight has deteriorated with age but not hearing aids because their hearing has deteriorated.

gillybob Thu 21-Sep-17 11:52:29

An excellent post sarahellenwhitney .

Nemoiudex Thu 21-Sep-17 11:57:23

Those who watch Coronation Street will be aware of the elderly female character who became forgetful and seemed to be suffering from the early stages of dementia but it turned out to be a brain tumour - which might not necessarily be malignant and anyway this is a fictional scenario. So it's always sensible to mention such symptoms to your GP and he'll assess whether further investigations are required.

Getting older does tend to be associated with forgetting words. I think it has been proved that the right sort of mental exercise will help protect against forgetfulness. I suggest that every so often you learn a favourite poem - not necessarily a long one, maybe just a few verses. Try to memorise it. Everyone ought to know a few poems by heart. If you prefer, learn the lyrics of a favourite song.

sandelf78a Thu 21-Sep-17 11:59:29

Your comments/advice are a great help. Number one I'll try to be more patient. And I'll try to work in a hearing & memory check in an unpressing way. Isn't it great to be able to have so many wise voices to help.

CardiffJaguar Thu 21-Sep-17 12:19:12

Hearing problems do make me irritable at times; asking for repeats is embarrassing. Hearing aids do help but are not the complete answer. Getting loved ones to face you when speaking is the best solution I've found so far. Strangely I am told I speak too quietly which then makes me shout.

Unable to recall those special but regular words is also irritating. You 'know' the word but it simply will not enter your consciousness. I have even experienced that condition from brain damage - which I hope I do not have! - when a connected word surfaces. Such as trying to remember reform brings up borstal!! Such is life.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 21-Sep-17 13:18:52

I'm 62 and find it difficult to get the right word more often now - it's infuriating. My memory used to be much sharper. I love quizzes but am finding them harder now.
How do I cope? I curse myself. I also lose things more and maybe make a cup of tea, leave it on the worktop to do something more interesting and forget all about it.
I would advise getting your hearing checked by the GP - you should then be referred to your local audiology dept for a proper test and be prescribed hearing aids if necessary. The modern ones don't look awful and are really comfy. I'm thrilled to bits with mine. I've read that neglecting your hearing is bad as it makes your brain strain harder which can bring on dementia.

meandashy Thu 21-Sep-17 15:01:58

I know when I'm feeling low (I have depression) my brain doesn't function properly. I can't remember simple words. Sometimes I stammer too. I've never had a stammer before!
I hope it's something simple 💐

Teddy123 Thu 21-Sep-17 15:06:01

I realised my DH had hearing loss when I couldn't bear the loudness of the TV together with the fact that I have to repeat everything at least twice.
Last time my son was down he also commented on the loudness of the TV. My DH however refuses to have a hearing test ....

I'm also aware that his vision is poor. He agreed to have a sight test approx 30 years ago and was told he has astigmatism and got glasses to correct this. The first and last pair in his entire life. Reading vision is fine. Again he refuses to have another eye test. Friends have also commented about his sight only because if they 'see him' when out and about, he doesn't recognise then until they call his name. It infuriates me that they expect to arrange his eye test! As I say, it's been mentioned by me several times but I've now literally conceded defeat.

However more worrying is that whilst sitting in his car last week I found a slip of paper with his name and home telephone number written on it, in his handwriting. This I find very worrying!

So how do I cope with these lapses. Not very well I'm afraid to say. I can't accept that someone can't help themself ....
be it loss memory, hearing or eye sight. He's clearly aware and is dealing with it in his own head in the sand way.

CardiffJaguar Thu 21-Sep-17 18:17:51

Teddy123: If you can get him to your GP, having previously told your GP of your concerns, that should be the wake-up call.

Teddy123 Thu 21-Sep-17 19:32:49

Cardiff you are, of course, absolutely right & that's what I would suggest if one of my friends asked for advice on a similar situation. I have tried to help on too many occasions to no avail. I absolutely concede defeat. But thank you x

Diggingdoris Thu 21-Sep-17 20:27:07

Teddy I have the same problem with my DH. His hearing is failing, he hasn't had an eye test or been to the dentist in 25yrs, and his concentration is very poor. He refuses to see the Dr, optician, dentist and flatly denies he has any problems, though all the family have told me they've noticed things. Why can I not make him see that his life could be better if he got things sorted. What an ostrich!

trisher Thu 21-Sep-17 20:48:37

I've recently begun to wonder how much memory we need to live comfortably and how weird memory is. My mother at 95 lives in sheltered housing, she has no memory for what she has done, what she has eaten or who she has seen. But she can play cards and dominoes and mark 6 cards in a bingo session. We think as long as she is happy and not causing a problem she is fine. We keep an eye on what she eats and try to make sure she takes her medication. She seems perfectly happy.

maddy629 Fri 22-Sep-17 07:04:27

It's just a symptom of getting older, I think. I have a shocking memory and so does my husband. We are both fine in other ways.