Series on Aging, Part Three: Checking on Your Memory

Oct 7th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Where are those keys? What did I do with my eyeglasses, the book I was reading, my wallet, etc. ad nauseum? Sound familiar?

Loss of memory is a state of mind! Now that’s really profound. Of course it is and that is why most of us, when it begins to happen, become anxious and concerned. Both of those reactions, by the way, only contribute to further anxiety, thus blocking our ability for recall.

So, what can I do about it? How do I deal with this frustrating time loss of searching for things and becoming more and more upset as I do so? Good question. There may be no real good answer, but there are some clues for dealing with it. These are offered for your consideration:

&$#When feeling the need to find a misplaced item, write down what you are looking for; place the note on a desk, a kitchen counter, the refrigerator or somewhere you will see it later.

&$#Do not, under any circumstances, panic. Whatever it is you are searching for can likely be replaced anyway.

&$#Give yourself time to do other things. It is very likely your subconscious will kick in and guide you to the item.

&$#Most memory loss is not associated with early Alzheimer’s. Be confident that you are not losing it (your mind), but just something you were just using.

&$#Make something of a joke out of it. There are increasing numbers of great stories related to forgetfulness. Write down your humorous ones and send them along to Life in These United States at Readers Digest.

&$#Don’t resort to shouting and cursing (see symbols to left). It won’t do any good. And don’t tear up the house looking. You will then just have to put everything back where it belongs. But, of course if you did that, you might find some other things you had previously misplaced.

&$#Don’t blame someone else for your own forgetfulness. That, too, won’t do any good. Other than raising the frustration level in the house, it will only delay finding what you are looking for.

&$#If someone else finds the item, don’t fail to show your gratitude.

&$#When/if someone suggests you may have a medical issue, be kind in responding; be aware of the possibility that you have memory issues beginning. Be ready to seek medical care when the time comes to check it out.

&$#Before it happens again, check on some of your behaviors to see what contributes to your misplacing things. This may be a way to check yourself at the door to your bedroom, study, basement, garage wherever. And, then again, it may all be just a trick to keep us busy, since we are now retired and often looking for something to do!



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