SENIOR MOMENTS: WHEN IT’S OKAY TO FORGETJul 25th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Dr Jerry Elrod's Senior Moments Blog
No Shame in Forgetting
Ordinary forgetfulness is not a disease. It is just what it says, ordinary. Becoming disgruntled over a temporary loss of memory is an unnecessary fret. Most of us, as we age, have a tendency to some forgetfulness. We misplace an item, we can’t bring up the right word, a name eludes us. All of these are quite predictable and do seem to increase in frequency as we grow older.
However, the tendency is not indicative of our coming down with something.
Lost keys, a misplaced wallet, a forgotten address don’t suggest a need for a major cat scan or full fledged examination. It may just be an indication of misplaced priorities, in which the simple every day things seem to become less important. Cultivating habits that allow for predictability is one of the ways to head off troublesome temporary forgetfulness.
Tips for Remembering
Keeping your essentials in the same place every time you put them down is a good practice. Eye glasses, keys, wallet all invite a routine that works the same every day you remove them. Nothing goes in the refrigerator other than food items, wallah no wallet there. Only if it makes sense to you that a wallet goes in the refrigerator, should there be concern.
Keeping yourself concentrated when you are trying to recall a name helps to bring up that name. Asking for assistance remembering is not a sign of dementia. It is an indication that you may be overloaded and require a gentle nudge, a slight reminder. Don’t panic. Concentrate.
Remembering details is something we find ourselves less inclined to do with enjoyment at an older age. While we may remember some fond occasion with clarity, we also forget the minutest matter that seems important at the time. The two altogether do not spell Alzheimer’s. They are incidents, usually quickly put aside, that make no big difference in our lives.
There are occasions and signs that may cause some concern to be sure. If forgetfulness becomes a repetitive and troublesome experience, it may be time for an examination. If your spouse notices behaviors that seem to be frequent and similar, then looking into the situation may be wise. If you are aware of a pattern of forgetfulness about certain things, you may need to take notice with others, asking them to check you out for your memory loss. Such feedback may help allay anxiety and determine whether it is appropriate to investigate further.