Mark Twain: When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.
Lists. I have lists everywhere. I write a list, cross off what I’ve done, and then maybe rewrite that shorter list onto another list so I can add to that one. Today, happily, I found a list I wrote a few weeks ago and most of the items were already crossed off. I felt that I had accomplished something great, even though the list contained mundane items such as “complete change of address form” and “renew Consumer Reports.”
Forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. As people get older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain. As a result, some people may notice that it takes longer to learn new things, they don’t remember information as well as they did, or they lose things like their glasses. These usually are signs of mild forgetfulness and not serious memory problems. Some older adults also find that they don’t do as well as younger people on complex memory or learning tests. Scientists have found, though, that given enough time, healthy older people can do as well as younger people do on these tests. In fact, as they age, healthy adults usually improve in areas of mental ability such as vocabulary. (Source: nia.nih.gov/health/publication/forgetfulness)
Memory problems could be related to health issues that may be treatable, i.e., vitamin deficiency, infections or blood clots in the brain, or medication side effects. Emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety or depression, can also make a person more forgetful.
Some memory problems are related to health issues that may be treatable. For example, someone who has recently retired may feel sad, lonely, worried, or bored. Trying to deal with these life changes leaves some people confused or forgetful. This confusion and forgetfulness caused by emotions usually are temporary and go away when the feelings fade. I’m convinced that my forgetfulness is the plain old garden variety connected with aging or possibly related to being out-of-work.
I count on my supportive friends and family to help alleviate any feelings of boredom or loneliness. My upcoming monthly bingo and bunco outings will provide hours of fun, even if I’m at the risk of losing a few bucks in the process.