We humans are accustomed to certain "givens". It's a given that the person you are communicating with has speech, hearing, thinking processes and memory. In fact unless they have an obvious physical injury we assume people are capable and fall under the umbrella of "normal" until proved otherwise.
Memory loss is one of those that isnt obvious but worse still is that even if you tell others you "cant remember" so many aspects of life depend on a good memory that people tend to dismiss it at the time but not the next time. Now, this isnt their fault, life with us humans demands we have a good memory sufficient enough to recall the basics. What happens when that level of basic memory also erodes? How hard is life then for the sufferer and the people he/she is trying to communicate with?
I have it first hand, a failing memory. I used to joke with workmates in my 40's about going out to my shed and forgetting why I went there. Now in my mid 60's it is, at a guess, 10 times worse than that. Daily my poor wife will ask "remember when..." and my usual answer is "nope, remind me". The supply of further information has a 50"% chance of prompting my memory to recall enough to answer. Why is my memory declining?
Possible causes of reversible memory loss include:
Medications. Certain medications or a combination of medications can cause forgetfulness or confusion.
Minor head trauma or injury. ...
Emotional disorders. ...
Vitamin B-12 deficiency. ...
Reasons 1 and 3 cause alarm for those with mental illnesses. Medications and emotional issues. I like many of you have at least one of these. OK, what can we do?
Mnemonics has helped me a lot for the last 30 years. It is using methods to aid the memory. Eg If you need to remember when shopping- Sugar, air freshener, lasagne and tacos. Use the first letter of each to get SALT. Remember salt only and you might find it easy to recall the items.
Notebooks- The problem with these is I cant remember to write it down or if I did to remember to take it with me.
Use your notes in your mobile phone. I do remember to take my mobile phone so that is an effective tool to use.
Alarms. I do use my alarms for meetings and special events.
Facebook- good for birthday reminders
Explaining- I have on occasions named my sister or daughter by my dogs name!! Yes, it happens. They take offence. Try to explain the disability. If they dont accept- then they dont understand.