by Michael Donahoe
I have been having those moments that we often joke about, when you walk into a room and forget why. I am sure no one else has these problems, but maybe you can at least sympathize with me for a little bit.
The other day I needed to go to the basement and get a new lightbulb for a lamp. I opened the basement door and stopped, thinking I need to put my slippers on before going downstairs. So, I walked through the bathroom to our closet and remembered I had not brushed my teeth yet. I quickly brushed my teeth and headed to the basement again. Before I started down the steps, I remembered I was going to get my slippers. I went back to the closet and got them, then headed back to the basement. Halfway down the steps I stopped and tried to remember why I was going to the basement. Can anyone else relate?
Just last night while getting ready for bed, I thought about a small project I needed to do the next day, but I was too tired to worry about it then. I decided that before I got in bed, I would email myself a note about the project. By the time I got in bed, I picked up my phone but could not remember what it was I was going to remind myself about.
I have often thought about these issues and figured it was just a part of the aging process. Yet, I remember several times people in their early 40s and 50s had mentioned they were having the same problems.
I was reading a little bit from a report by the National Library of Medicine and saw this part about some of their tests:
“Differences in the types of memory lapses between younger and older adults, as well as individual interpretations of their cause(s), may influence the effects of these events on daily positive and negative affect. In one qualitative study, middle-aged adults (40 to 64 years) did not differ from older adults (65+ years) in the number of memory lapses reported, but middle-aged adults assigned significantly higher distress ratings to these lapses compared to older adults (65+ years)”.
Now what caught my attention was the fact that 40 to 65 year old people were having the same issue. To me, the tests results sounded like the middle-aged adults, although having the same lapses in memory, got more stressed because of the thought that they were getting older, while we older people have already accepted that fact.
No matter your age, it is not a pleasant feeling when, in a matter of minutes you can forget what you were going to do.
My wife has been doing a lot of memory games and projects online for her memory. It makes a lot of sense to me, if only I could remember to do them. Of course, why put that much effort into it when there are all kinds of vitamins and memory supplements that supposedly help your memory? They are certainly much easier to take. Oh well, maybe I will get some next time I go to the store and can remember why I went.
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