Walking into a room and forgetting why you went there in the first place?


memory issue-care industry newsTwo thirds of adults (63%*) admit to suffering embarrassing or annoying ‘memory blots’ three or more times a week, research from Bupa has revealed to coincide with the launch of the ‘The Memory Game’ .


Those moments, when you  forget a friend or colleague’s name or even why you stepped into a room, are happening to over a quarter (27%) of us at least once a day, and to 96% of people at least once a week. Half (50%) of people surveyed admit they find these forgetful flashes frustrating, while nearly a third (30%) said they were annoying.


The top ten most common ‘memory blots’ experienced by UK adults are:


RankMost common memory blots%
1Walking into a room and forgetting why you went there in the first place51%
2Not remembering where you put your keys38%
3Forgetting items off your shopping list at the supermarket35%
4Forgetting a password33%
5Forgetting where you left your phone28%
6Being unable to recall whether you locked the door to your house or car23%
7Forgetting what day of the week it is19%
8Not being able to recall the name of someone you know quite well19%
9Forgetting a colleagues name15%
10Accidentally forgetting a loved one’s birthday or anniversary11%


Professor Graham Stokes, Director of Dementia Care at Bupa explains that these moments are not usually cause for concern:


“Regardless of your age, from time to time we all forget where we put our keys or what we went upstairs for. While occasional memory blots should not to be mistaken with the onset of dementia, these forgetful moments do give a sense of what living with dementia can feel like, and the emotions someone living with the disease can experience.”


Professor Stokes adds:


“Imagine forgetting the simplest, and sometimes the biggest things, every single day and the confusion and frustration this can give you. We’ve created the Memory Game to give people a small glimpse of what living with dementia can be like.”


The research was conducted as part of the launch of ‘The Memory Game’, produced by Bupa to raise awareness of dementia. The interactive online game simulates confusion, frustration and even poor vision, to help give a sense of the feelings someone living with dementia can experience. The game can be found here: www.thememorychallenge.co.uk


Bupa’s research also highlights society’s lack of awareness and understanding of dementia. Just under half of those surveyed (45%) estimate that the condition affects 1 in 250 people or fewer, when in reality the condition affects 1 in 14 people over the age of 65[1]. There are also more than 40,000 people in the UK under the age of 65 with dementia[2].


Professor Stokes explains:


“This research shows that there is a huge knowledge gap when it comes to dementia. With the number of people living with dementia set to rise in the UK to over one million by 2025, it is critical that we increase awareness and understanding so we can better support people living with the condition, as well as their close family and friends. This is why Bupa is committed to helping create a more dementia friendly society.”


The research also revealed a lack of awareness about how early dementia can begin to develop. Someone who is diagnosed with the condition at 70 is likely to have started developing dementia in their brain in their mid-40s.  Over three quarters of people (77%) don’t think dementia can occur in the brain in the early-40s . More than half of people (57%) believe that someone diagnosed with dementia at 75 wouldn’t start developing the condition until they were 55 or older.


Meanwhile, UK adults admit they only associate memory loss as a symptom of the condition.  95% of adults surveyed weren’t aware that visual misperceptions and problems with recognition can be symptoms of the condition.



[1] Alzheimer Society – Demography: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=412

[2] Alzheimer’s Society Facts on dementia: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=535&pageNumber


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