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Sunday, October 2, 2022  

Is Aging Having An Affect On Your Memory?Published 9/23/2009

A common problem associated with getting older is the memory loss most of us seem to encounter. Forget a couple of names or misplace those car keys again and we begin to think it’s a first sign of Alzheimer’s and that we’ll soon be forgetting everything.
While Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are certainly very real problems, the reality is that gradual, mild memory loss is usually just a part of the normal aging process, although not one that we have to simply sit back and accept.
In reality, there are many things that can be done to maintain and improve your memory. It’s simply untrue that every elderly person is going to have a poor memory, or that it’s impossible for an older person to learn new things.
For most of us, memory decline is usually very gradual, generally not even noticeable before the age of 70. And it doesn’t occur in the same way for everyone, since loss of memory can be affected by our physical health, lifestyle habits and even level of education.
Most importantly, there are things we can do to help overcome the natural weakening of memory that may occur as we age.
One important step is to keep an active mind. Just because you are older does not mean you can’t learn something new, like playing chess, how to cook, or any of dozens of other new activities that get you actively using your mind.
Activities that engage your mind and make you think all help improve memory. When you read a book or go to a movie, and then discuss with friends its details, themes and what did or didn’t work, you’re keeping your mind active and forcing your memory to work.
If memory loss is worrying you, check your library or bookstore for books with suggestions for improving memory. Some provide tips on how to organize materials and information to make remembering easier. Others offer strategies, training suggestions and practice sessions to help improve memory skills.
The bottom line is that some memory loss as we age is perfectly normal, not necessarily a sign of serious mental deterioration.
But if you are worried that your memory problems seem more serious, talk to a counseling professional or your family physician. They can offer tests to help pinpoint any possible problems.
The Counseling Corner is provided as a public service by the American Counseling Association, the nation’s largest organization of counseling professionals.

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