SENIOR MOMENTS

Senior moments are simply symptoms of a brain overload that comes with aging. Aging brings about senior moments which create frustration; because we are trying to do too much at one time or we’ve somehow gotten distracted from what is going on. Moments, when you go blank or lose your train of thought during your conversation, can be awkward and uncomfortable.

Life is filled with bits and pieces of information; some readily at our fingertips while other information has to be forced forward on the brain’s hemisphere. Somewhere around the mid fifty’s, you tend to notice forgetfulness on an irregular basis. As time elapses you will notice that your forgetfulness increases more and more. Often times just at the moment when you desire to express a point or thought….poof!!! , you lose it. Sometimes as you walk into a room to get something, suddenly you forget why you came into the room.  Names, places, and thoughts can become submerged deep into the physic so much so that you believe you have “lost your mind”. I choose to call this condition brain overload. Through the years we store so much information in the brain yet, demand its use or recall momentarily. Stress and dramatic changes in our life or routine can bring about these senior moments so much so that we perceive them as part of “getting on in years.”  Socialization, word and card games, puzzles and writing become important in maintaining the brain cells which keep our memory, thinking and reasoning skills in shape for daily usage. We too often take these skills for granted and fail to exercise them for continual use. The brain is no different from any other part of the body in that it must be exercised to keep it functioning to capacity.

Do you misplace your keys on a frequent basis? After you have left home, do you wonder; did I turn off the light? These are worrisome thoughts which catch your attention and prevent you from enjoying your time with friends or simply relaxing. What can I do to decrease the occurrence of these senior moments?  Am I slipping into dementia or something worse? Let’s take a closer look.

Dementia is a progressive brain disease which slowly destroys memory, thinking skills and reasoning abilities. These are not temporary losses, but rather traits which slip away and interfere with the daily functioning of an individual. There is a mark difference in the behavior of someone suffering from dementia; the person is not quite himself. He may put one shoe on one foot and one sock on the other and feel he is ready to go out. A person can decide to take a walk in a neighborhood where they have lived for years, yet get distracted by something or someone and become confused as to their whereabouts. Realize also that while senior moments and dementia appear to be similar, there are different levels of dementia which can eventually lead to Alzheimer’s. The only way to know for sure what is happening is by talking to your doctor who will conduct a physical exam with a series of tests to make a determination of what is really going on.

Helpful Tips:
Establish a routine for yourself and follow it
Place articles you use frequently in an assigned place
Make notes for yourself and place them where you can see them
Place timers on switches to turn off or on things like lights/lamps
Set an alarm or reminder on your cell phone
Keep extra sets of keys, give one set to someone you trust in case of emergency
Limit the number of things you attempt to do at one time (multitasking)
Minimize the number of distracting activities going on at one time to help you to better focus on the things you are doing at the time
Frustration/anxiety helps to create those blank/senior moments
Sometimes we need to laugh at ourselves, rather than taking ourselves so seriously
Know that you are in good company and we all share similar traits or stories

RESOURCES:
National Institute of Health
Mayo Clinic