What is NORMAL cognitive aging?
Very often we see patients who have been noticing some changes in their memory. Due due to a family history or simple worry they are afraid they may be getting Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. While it is important to note that you should speak with your primary care physician regarding any noticeable changes in your cognition, rest assured there are some NORMAL changes in our memory and cognitive skills as we age.
-Short term memory
Recent memories are more susceptible to changes with aging. Forgetting where you put your care keys is nothing to worry about but forgetting that your son borrowed your car may be a sign of abnormal aging.
It is normal to require more time to perform cognitive tasks as you age. Where you might take an hour to do a crossword puzzle before maybe it takes you 2 hours. But it would be abnormal to forget how to work the puzzle all together.
It is sometimes normal to momentarily be unable to recall the name of your doctor or the name of a home appliance as long as it eventually dons on you. However forgetting how to USE a home appliance with which you are familiar with is abnormal.
While we often do not have difficulty keeping sustained attention as we get older, sometimes, our ability to attend to more than one thing at a time is more difficult. You may no longer be able to watch the ball game AND read a book as effectively. But you should be able to listen and focus to your spouse without distraction.
The best rule of thumb to reduce these declines is to actively engage your brain on a routine basis. Anytime your brain needs to process information and regurgitate it is like going on a mental jog! As mentioned before though, your cognitive health should be discussed regularly with your physician, especially if you or your family have concerns.
Wondering how well you are thinking? You can download the SAGE test and administer it to your self. When you are done take it to your doctor or send it in to our offices and we score it for you and let you know how you or your loved one did!
Thanks for reading! Come back for more useful topics!
This post was written by:
Joseph Gross OTD, OTR/L
Adult Cognitive and Memory Specialist
Categorised in: Info