Memory and brain health

Welcome to the Memory Pathway! The Memory Pathway is a source of information on brain health and memory disorders. A healthy memory is one that works when you focus, listen, repeat and allow it to rest. If you do all this but still notice that your memory is poorer than before and managing your everyday life feels more difficult, the reason should be investigated. Open and close the sections below to read more about this topic.

Prepare for old age: take good care of your ability to function

A healthy lifestyle protects your brain.

Financial support and legal anticipation are important topics at all ages.

High or low risk of a memory disorder?

A healthy lifestyle protects your brain. A middle-aged person can already take action to significantly reduce the risk of developing a memory disorder in later life. The Finnish FINGER project  (website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare research)  has produced an operating model that helps prevent memory disorders.

You can reduce your risk of developing a memory disorder yourself. Test your risk of developing a memory disorder (pdf, in Finnish) on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

If your total score is six or higher, take action. Everything that is good for the heart is also good for the brain. Have a healthy diet and avoid excessive consumption of alcohol. Make sure you get enough exercise and rest. Cherish social relationships and also challenge your brain to a reasonable degree.

If you notice that your memory is poorer than before and managing your everyday life feels more difficult, the reason should be investigated. A memory disorder is not the only possible explanation.

What to do if you are concerned about your memory?

Having difficulty remembering things does not always mean that you have a memory disorder. Sometimes the earliest stage of a memory disorder is marked by a reduced ability to take initiative or a lowered mood. You may forget appointments or words, or find it more difficult to take care of your everyday tasks. You may also find it hard to draw conclusions, or perhaps you keep misplacing things.

If you are worried about your memory or the memory of a loved one, do not hesitate to discuss this at your health centre.

Investigation of memory symptoms begins at a health centre

If you notice that you have problems that may suggest a memory disorder, have them first assessed by a nurse at a health centre. The nurse will chart your situation. The nurse may refer you to additional tests, group activities, lifestyle counselling or to a physician, depending on your overall situation.

The next step of memory assessment: the memory clinic and specialised medical care

People over 70 years of age can undergo a memory disorder assessment at the memory clinic of Espoo Hospital. People younger than this are assessed at the Neurology Outpatient Clinic of Jorvi Hospital. You need a referral from a physician to participate in a memory disorder assessment. A health centre physician may give you a referral after examining you at the health centre. We recommend that a family member or a friend who knows your situation should accompany you to the clinic.

You will need to visit the clinic 1 to 3 times to get tested for memory disorders and possibly to start treatment. If you are diagnosed with a disorder that requires treatment, the clinic will draw up a treatment plan in cooperation with you and your loved one. Further treatment and follow-up will be performed by a physician or a nurse at your health centre. In addition, the City of Espoo’s memory counsellors are there to support you and your loved ones through the various stages of the memory disorder.

Lead a good life

You can lead a good life in spite of your memory disorder. You can maintain the quality of your life and your ability to function yourself.

There are many kinds of activities available in Espoo to help maintain your ability to function. Service centres for senior citizens are local meeting places that offer a wide selection of activities. Day activities are available to people with memory disorders.

To hear more, call Nestori – Guidance and Service Counselling for Senior Citizens .

Muistiluotsi in the Uusimaa region (website in Finnish) offers support and activities for people with memory disorders, their loved ones and everyone interested in memory. Exercise your brain Alzheimer Society of Finland Muistipuisto (in Finnish)

Memory counsellors support with memory disorders

Memory counsellors support you and your loved ones at different stages of your memory disorder. They act as a contact person between the person who has a progressive memory disorder, their loved ones, Social and Health Services and other cooperative parties. Further information about progressive memory disorders is available on the website of the Alzheimer Society of Finland.

If you are diagnosed with a progressive memory disorder at the memory clinic of Espoo Hospital or the Neurology Outpatient Clinic of Jorvi Hospital, your contact information will be sent to a memory counsellor. The memory counsellor will contact you according to the schedule agreed at the memory clinic. You may also contact the memory counsellor in your area yourself.

The memory counsellors make home visits and give advice on the phone. During a home visit, the memory counsellor will assess the client’s need for services together with the client and their loved ones. The memory counsellor will also provide advice on how to cope in everyday life and can refer you to other sources of support and services.

If the person with the memory disorder can no longer safely live at home even with the help of services delivered there, and staying at home no longer supports their ability to function, the memory counsellors will assess the person’s need for a form of housing where more support is available. The counsellor will also help with finding a care facility that meets the person’s needs.

Contact information of memory counsellors in Espoo’s greater areas

The memory counsellors are mainly available from Monday to Friday between 9:30 and 14:30. You can leave a message in their voicemail to ask them to call you back. They will return your call within three weekdays.

The city’s services support your everyday life

The city offers many forms of support and help for leading a good everyday life.

Further information about the services provided by the City of Espoo is available on the website of Nestori – Guidance and Service Counselling for Senior Citizens . . Some services are only granted to clients whose need for service has first been assessed by Nestori.

Technology can make everyday life easier

Technology can help senior citizens lead an independent, comfortable and safe life at home. Further information about technology as a tool that can support your daily life is available for example on the following websites: