Baby Boomer Generation Fears Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Memory Loss

By on January 15, 2015
confused man

The Causes of Memory Loss

The words dementia, Alzheimer’s and memory loss instills fear of aging in the retiring baby boomer generation. Scientific research now shown that the causes of memory loss can be prevented or delayed. The studies also confirm that memory loss is not a normal process of aging.

As the baby boomer generation ages, we may experience a longer period of time to recall something in our memory bank. Forgetting where we placed something, not being able to recall events or incidents that were not significant to us at the time are normal processes of memory. We become distracted, multitask and do not give significance to what we are doing. In our present day culture, we are bombarded by TV, radio, cell phones and computers. We communicate in so many different fashions and do it while we are driving; cooking, eating and even when we are sleeping (we leave the TV on or listen to music).

The causes of memory loss may be avoided or the progression delayed if the root cause and signs and symptoms of memory loss are identified and understood. It must be understood that there are many factors that can affect the brain and memory.

A healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, physical and mental exercises all promote brain fitness and can delay memory loss. These are all things that the baby boomer generation are know for embracing. Activities such as drinking alcohol, using illicit drugs, smoking, poor nutrition, chronic stress and some prescription medications can contribute to memory loss.Free your mind

It is also important to note that some chronic illnesses, although not related to the brain function, may also contribute to memory loss. These conditions, such as thyroid conditions, diabetes, sleep disorders and stroke are just a small example of medical conditions that may affect the memory abilities of the brain. Many of these conditions if detected early and treated can reverse, prevent or delay the loss of memory.

memory lossIn today’s rushed society, you or someone around you may be experiencing signs of memory loss and you are dismissing the symptoms. On the other hand, I frequently hear others say that they must already have dementia or Alzheimer’s because they are always loosing or forgetting something.
Aging and memory loss does not mean that your intelligence level becomes diminished or that your ability to learn is compromised in any way.

It may take more time to learn something new as we grow older, but doing something new and different often creates new connections in the brain and builds brain reserve.

Memory categories

There are three types of memory categories. Intelligence and level of education are not a contributing factor on the brain’s ability to function and recall material learned.

Memory categories:

  • Remote long term memory – Remote long term memory recalls things from our childhood, our favorite songs, things that we memorized, significant moments in our lives. Remote long term memory are those stored moments we have tucked away in our brain to recall in our future when we have a need to remember or experience a past feeling ( pleasant or unpleasant)
  • Recent long term memory – These are events that occur in our everyday life that we recall, such as our drive to work, a communication with someone about an event. Recent long term memory may even be recalling what you had for supper the night before or thinking about what clothes you wore during the week.
  • Short term memory – We are bombarded everyday with information. You are given an email address, a telephone or fax number. You start to type the information or dial the phone and you are interrupted. The information you had in your mind has been lost. You cannot retrieve it. You have to go through the effort of finding the information out all over again. Short term memory is the ability to recall temporary information.

The normal aging process does not affect our remote long term memory or our short term memory. Recent long term memory may be affected by the aging process. It may take longer to recall something, but one should not loose the ability to recall long term memory.

The baby boomer generation worries about signs of memory loss:

  • May be gradual onset
  • Decreased ability to perform daily routine tasks
  • Changes or difficulty in making judgments or decrease in reasoning abilities
  • Inability or decline in thinking clearly, may see irrational behavior
  • Confusion
  • Getting lost driving or walking in familiar surroundings
  • Missing important appointments
  • New onset of depression, anxiety
  • Confabulation   individuals try to compensate for their inability to remember things and will make things up (confabulate) to cover for their memory loss.

If you, or someone you know of the baby boomer generation, exhibit any of these symptoms, see a doctor. Early intervention can prevent or delay memory loss.It may be Mild cognitive Impairment

 

The normal aging process does not affect our remote long term memory or our short term memory. Recent long term memory may be affected by the aging process. It may take longer to recall something, but one should not loose the ability to recall long term memory.

Confused Senior Woman Looking At MedicationThe Baby Boomer Generation Worries About Signs of memory loss:

  • May be gradual onset
  • Decreased ability to perform daily routine tasks
  • Changes or difficulty in making judgments or decrease in reasoning abilities
  • Inability or decline in thinking clearly, may see irrational behavior
  • Confusion
  • Getting lost driving or walking in familiar surroundings
  • Missing important appointments
  • New onset of depression, anxiety
  • Confabulation   individuals try to compensate for their inability to remember things and will make things up (confabulate) to cover for their memory loss.

If you, or someone you know of the baby boomer generation, exhibit any of these symptoms, see a doctor. Early intervention can prevent or delay memory loss. If you know someone that  has been diagnosed, here is a book Diagnosis of Dementia, What Do I Do Now?