We all might suffer from memory loss at some stage in our lives due to one of many reasons why we get memory loss such as a period of stress or an accident. But if you suspect a relative or friend is suffering from memory loss that cannot be explained and they are reluctant to go to their doctors for a check up you may want to try to encourage them to take a simple dementia test at home to show them that they have a problem with their memory and encourage them to go to see their GP for further investigation.
It is crucial that the symptoms of memory loss are diagnosed as early as possible to get the best treatment possible. By taking a simple memory test you should be able to determine if the person may have a problem with their memory. You should encourage them to seek further help to check for problems such as early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
A simple dementia test
There is no one correct way that you can test for conditions like Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia without taking a medical test that a doctor can give, but you can do an easy memory test at home that may help give you an indication that something may be wrong with your, or somebody else’s memory that is not normal everyday forgetfulness that we sometimes get.
We take a look at a few of the ways that you can test your memory at home
Word Association Tests
Simple word tests can be used to help detect memory problems a person may have. Our brain saves and stores all the words we learn during our lives in our memories which then allows us to recollect what a word means without thinking about it, but a person who is having difficulty remembering words or confusing their words could have a problem that is associated with their memory.
Word association tests such as the one below seem to work well in detecting memory problems.
- Ask the individual taking the test to name all the animals they can think of in one minute.
- Ask the individual to name all the types of fruit they can remember in one minute.
Results – Research has found that a healthy individual should score between 20 to 25 words in the time given whereas a person who may have memory problems usually scores between 10 – 15
Clock Drawing Test
This is probably the best and most widely used home dementia test you or a person can take to help determine if an individual has a problem with their memory. The clock drawing test is also widely used by GP’s and dementia specialists to give a quick and simple early diagnosis that there is a problem that wanrrants further investigation into the individuals memory.
The clock drawing test should be done on a blank piece of paper, ideally an A4 size piece of paper that allows the person to draw freely.
- Ask the person to draw a clock
- Then ask the person to put in all the numbers onto the clock face
- Then ask the person to draw the hands onto the clock. Give them a time to set the clock to. IE. Draw the hands to read ten past nine.
The test should be judged on the following points. You should award 1 point for each correct answer.
- How well the person drew the clock circle
- Has the person included all the numbers 1-12
- Are all the numbers drawn in the correct order on the clock face and in the correct place
- Did they draw 2 hands on the clock
- Does the hands on the clock say the correct time you asked them to draw
Results – A normal score for the test is four or five points. Anything less than four points should be a concern.
The clock drawing test should be a very simple test to somebody with normal cognitive abilities but if a person has memory difficulties then it may become apparent that there is a problem.
If you have any concerns about the results of any of the tests you should seek further advice from a GP