Having a “Senior Moment”?

Dr. Mary Manz Simon,
ALOA Board of Directors

Casual comments about possible memory loss have taken on a fresh sense of urgency this month as both President Biden and former President Trump have suffered obvious memory lapses.

Among the many media outlets recently reporting on these situations, The Washington Post interviewed multiple memory experts. Four facts are summarized below:

  1. Memory peaks in our early twenties. As we age, mental processing speed declines.
  2. Difficulty retrieving words, dates and information happens throughout life. However, a fuzzy memory is rarely noticed when we’re young. Awareness of memory issues attracts more attention as we age.
  3. “Forgetting” is a normal part of memory. Because space is limited, our brain consolidates information, simply to unclutter the mind. We need to forget to make room for new experiences or information. However, the fresh input might shift or change a memory.
  4. Our life stories form the core of our memory bank, so remembering is naturally selective.

The Old Testament prophet Job was correct when he wrote, “Old people are wise.” (12:12, NIRV) I’m only 76, so I’m optimistic that the second half of this verse will happen during the aging process: “Those who live a long time have understanding.”

Check out this video to find out how learning new things can help our brains grow and slow the process of aging. 

Play Use it or Lose it video

Take a look at previous posts for more inspiration for older adult ministry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *