As you age, your brain changes. Some parts shrink. Brain cells don’t communicate as well as they once did. You may have some mild forgetfulness, and trouble learning new things. This is normal. But some older people experience brain changes that are not normal. And memory loss can be a warning sign that something is wrong. So if you worry about your memory, or if loved ones are worried, you need to tell your doctor. Here’s how to make the most of your doctor’s appointment.


First, do a little preparation. Write down your symptoms. Note when they began and how often they happen. List your medical problems (any you have now or in the past). And, list any medications you take. Or, gather all of your medications so you can take them to your appointment.

Support person

For some people, it’s helpful to bring a family member or a friend with them to see a doctor. So come with someone you trust. They can take notes for you, and help you remember exactly what your doctor says.

Be open and honest

Finally, when you see your doctor, be open and honest. Tell your doctor exactly what’s happening. For example, you might say “I’ve always been able to balance my checkbook without any problems, but lately I’m very confused.” This will help your doctor figure out what tests may be needed.


Memory problems can be caused by a wide range of issues. For many people, memory problems go away with treatment. Your doctor will create a care plan that’s right for you.