Memory lapses and forgetfulness can be caused by a variety of factors that include Alzheimer's disease, dehydration, poor nutrition, thyroid problems, head injury and vitamin deficiencies, according to WebMD. In certain cases, emotional problems in aging people, such as depression or loneliness triggered by the loss of a loved one , can cause confusion and forgetfulness, according to WebMD.
Partial memory loss can be caused by physical and psychological conditions, according to Healthline. Healthline notes that signs of age-related memory loss include temporarily forgetting what day of the week it is, but remembering it at a later time, misplacing items from time to time, forgetting to pay bills and forgetting certain words. Reversible causes of memory loss include head injury, medications, alcohol use, vitamin B-12 deficiency and hypothyroidism, according to Healthline. Healthline warns that it is important for individuals who are experiencing memory loss that interferes with their regular activities to consult a health professional as soon as possible to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a certain degree of memory loss is a natural aspect of the aging process. However, normal memory loss differs from the type of dementia that occurs with Alzheimer's disease. Memory loss caused by aging is manageable and typically does not disrupt a person's ability to live independently and go to work, according to the Mayo Clinic. Early signs of dementia include mood changes, getting lost in familiar areas, mixing up common words, repeatedly asking the same questions and behavior changes, as noted by the Mayo Clinic.