AMAC In The Media / Opinion / Press Releases

Forgetting is Normal for Most People as They Age, but Take Precautions if Memory Loss Persists and Interferes With Daily Life, says AMAC

forgetting normal memory Alzheimer's dementia forgetfulWASHINGTON, DC – Dementia, in general, and Alzheimer’s disease, in particular, have emerged as a clear and present danger for America’s aging population. And, this has many seniors scaring themselves every time they forget someone’s name, according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].

“One of our members recently told me that his wife of 54 years was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago and finally asked her neurologist to check him out because he was becoming increasingly forgetful, himself.  He did and, to his relief, he was diagnosed with a simple case of growing old.  Indeed, as we grow older it is normal for us to forget simple things such as where you parked your car or you might have trouble coming up with the right words.  It is not necessarily the onset of dementia,” says Weber.

“Nonetheless, it is a good idea to have yourself checked out.  Self-diagnosis is not safe.  Forgetting where you put your glasses is normal.  Forgetting that you wear glasses just might be dementia.”

The Alzheimer’s Association says the signs of abnormal memory loss include a new found inability to complete routine tasks such as paying bills, remembering appointments, making plans or solving problems.  It’s time to see a doctor if you are experiencing these types of extreme forgetfulness on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, there are things that you can do to help sharpen your memory, according to the Mayo Clinic.  In an article published on its Web site the Clinic suggests getting more physical exercise, doing things to remain mentally active, getting a good night’s sleep and maintaining a healthy diet.

The folks at the Mayo Clinic also point out that it is important to adopt an engaging social life, something that AMAC’s Weber says may be a particularly effective way of dealing with memory loss.  He cites a recent study that shows social activity can reduce dementia risk by as much as 12% as we age.

The research was led by Andrew Sommerlad, Ph.D., at University College London in the U. K.  And, its findings “suggest a protective effect of social contact against dementia and that more frequent contact confers higher cognitive reserve.”

Harvard Medical School says “cognitive reserve is developed by a lifetime of education and curiosity to help your brain better cope with any failures or declines it faces.”  It’s a concept that was first identified in 1982.

Essentially, researchers studied individuals who had no apparent symptoms of dementia while they were alive.  But, when they died and were autopsied, it was discovered that their brains showed “changes consistent with advanced Alzheimer’s disease.  Since then, research has shown that people with greater cognitive reserve are better able to stave off symptoms of degenerative brain changes associated with dementia or other brain diseases.”

About AMAC

The 2 million member Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.

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mgoode
2 years ago

So they autopsied people who appeared to be normal and found “changes consistent with advanced Alzheimers” ? Frankly, I wonder if they really know as much as they think they do.

Lisa
2 years ago
Reply to  mgoode

That crossed my mind, as well.

BarbaraMoore
2 years ago

I’m 61 and became concerned about my cognitive abilities and why it was becoming harder to focus and comprehend, process and remember. I saw a neurologist and was tested by an EEG and oral tests…such as name as many animals and then fruits as I could, matching patterns on cards, and other ones that seemed pretty easy. Results confirmed I do have dementia of the frontal lobe and have been on 5 mg. of Aricept for 4 months. I was upped to 10 mg. but got sick. I think if you feel in your gut that something is wrong, you should see a neurologist.

Karin Allen
2 years ago

I am 77 and have the type of memory issues Amac, and your readers, have described as normal memory loss due to aging. I fit that category.
Your Amac News Letter is such a welcomed source for reasonable, and factual information. So glad you started publishing this source with
unbiased information. Looking forward and truly enjoying receiving every publication you send out.

Joseph
2 years ago

I’m 64 and caring for elderly parent and her friend. The situation is anxiety provoking and exhausting. I find I am not able to enjoy my elderly years as I’m constantly picking up the pieces in caring for others.
I know my mind is not as sharp as in my middle years . Keep on trying.

Esmeralda
2 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

I had to do that in my late 40s, early 50s. At least I could get around better than in comparison to my mid 60s now. I feel for you. Don’t give up, ask for help if you can.

Nancy Mereday
2 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

I am full time caretaker (I’m 74) for my 89 year old husband, so I can relate. You MUST find a way (or ways) to have time for yourself, away from the stress. My husband has several serious health issues and taking care of him is very stressful. I have a few health issues myself, as well, adding to the stress. I try to get away at least one day a week and I also keep my mind active by doing brain exercises daily and crossword puzzles.

El Ey
2 years ago
Reply to  Nancy Mereday

Daily meditation helps me a lot.

Mary Lou Hicks
2 years ago

I like all the learning opportunities with AMAC! Thanks!

PTY
2 years ago

We are creatures of habit in what we do. Sometimes we change the process and think we are losing our mind. Example coming into the home we always place the car keys on the desk, however the phone rang, and were distracted now placing car keys on the kitchen counter. Come morning and we are looking for the keys on the desk. There always on the desk….now where did they go? Everything we do, each and everyday is a process. Change the process and whoops? Be kind to yourself, you are not losing your mind, yet.

Esmeralda
2 years ago
Reply to  PTY

I absolutely know what you’re talking about! Take one step different in the routine and it can ruin your whole day, lol!

Liam
2 years ago

At age 84 , my biggest problem is I suffer with whatamyherefore disease. You know the one where you walk into a room, or open the fridge door and stand there wondering, “what am I here for?” But as with any circuit board the circuits in the brain will misfire occasionally. Nothing to worry about.

Esmeralda
2 years ago
Reply to  Liam

Lol! Yeppers. Always have to retrace my steps to figure out why I walked into a room. At least I get more exercise that way.

El Ey
2 years ago
Reply to  Esmeralda

Ha ha!! Happens to me all the time.

Orice Walters
2 years ago

Appreciated this article. Thank you.

Orice Walters
2 years ago

appreciated this article. Thank You

Dean Graves
2 years ago

I am 63 and don’t have issues with keys, glasses ect… But, I feel like I’m losing the ability to conger up my vocabulary sometimes… very frustrating …
I read constantly and listen to talk radio but in social scenarios at times feel deficient…
Solution? More vodka to stimulate conversation.. lol

Gloria P. Sterling
2 years ago

Forgetting is normal at all ages. If it is limited to aging, then I’ve been “old” all my life. I keep my mind alert with things that cause me to think, like crossword puzzles, etc.

J. Wind
2 years ago

My best friend did crossword puzzles every day, read every new book that came out for years, and entertained regularly. She is now living in a Memory Care facility. So, I’m not sure what really keeps dementia at bay. Maybe dementia is genetic or perhaps more studies are needed. I doubt there is one simple cause.

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