Short-term memory loss is almost always a result of frontal lobe brain injuries. Shortly after the injury has happened, the short-term memory loss can be so severe that the memory of visitors will last only until shortly after the visitor has left and memories of what has been been eaten will be irretrievable.
This type of memory loss affects areas you may not have thought of. In my partner's case, he no longer watches any television other than the news. Because of his short-term memory loss, he is not able to follow the necessary sequences of a program or movie to be able to understand what is happening. He also no longer plays games with the family as he used to do. And until very recently, he avoided socializing because it was difficult to interact in conversations when thoughts from the beginning of a conversation were lost by the end of it. It made continuity and inclusion in a conversation very stressful. He has improved in this area when in the company of people he knows well.
The more usual short-term memory difficulties are remembering appointments. Using a daytimer, calendar or making a list are some of the ways this problem can be solved. The additional problem is to remember to use it. Another example is when something has been mentioned the previous day and can not be remembered the following day.
My partner plays the game of 'pretending' to remember. He'll say, 'Oh right, I remember.' He will continue to play the game even when I have told him something that I had not mentioned previously and he 'lets on' that I had already told him by pretending to 'remember'.
There are many exercises that can help the memory. One is to have him / her look at a picture for 60 seconds to begin with and then ask him / her to remember as many things as they can about the picture. As they get better, shorten the time. And then when they have met that challenge, change the picture.
Another memory exercise is to write down a list of twelve items. Let him / her look at the list for three minutes and then ask them to write down as many of the items as they can remember. As they improve and are able to remember more items, have them do it in less time. Sometimes change the list and do it again.
Short-term memory loss can be very upsetting but over time and with practicing memory exercises, it can improve.