Don’t remember where you left your keys? Memory lapses are often common as we age, but as long as these lapses aren’t disrupting your life, there’s no need to worry. Stress, depression, vitamin deficiency, insufficient sleep, some prescription drugsall affect memory, but people who exercise, stay mentally active, socialize regularly and eat a healthy diet can minimize memory loss. Here are four examples of normal memory lapses, and how to deal with them:
1. Absentmindedness. “Where did I leave my keys”? Such lapses are common and are usually due to a lack of focus. Mentally recall what you we doing before the activity, and then retrace your steps. Focus on the task at hand without “daydreaming”.
2. Blocking. “I know what I want to say, but I can’t find the word I need to say it”. Older people have to activate more brain areas to retrieve a memory. Mentally review and write down the points before talking about them. If you are “stuck in the moment”, try to remember other details about the subject to trigger the memory.
3. Scrambling. This is when you forget certain details of a memory. The part of the brain that forms memories is the hippocampus. After the age of 25, the hippocampus loses 5 percent of its nerve cells each decade. Place yourself mentally in the situation. Focus on details: time, place, people and conversations.
4. Fade Out. Our brain tends to “clean house” by deleting older memories to make room for new ones. The more time between the experience and the memory, the more details will be lost. The best ways to remember events and experiences is to recall them frequently.
A professional home nurse from Specialty Care Services can aid in physical and mental fitness and provide companionship as well as rehabilitation and cognitive exercises.