Aging Parents and Us: Memory Loss or Loss of Focus?

I usually publish my blog Tuesday night. Yet I was immersed in readying for, and cleaning up after, a New Year’s Eve party and completely forgot. While multitasking has been a constant in the lives of many of us with old/older parents, the following from Mayo Clinic is a quick, timely read for me and quite possibly for you.

I wrote about disorganization at holiday time and feeling like ADD was at work. So this MD’s short answer, “Stop multitasking and learn how to focus (If link is problematic, Google Mayo Clinic; write “Adult Health” in search box; click any Adult Health post and put “Stop Multitasking” in search box on post’s page), speaks to me with 4 timely suggestions. Indeed, they are doable and 1 (or all 4) could be considered a New Year’s resolution for some. In previous posts (see “Related” below).

Sr. Advisor R talks about how she decided it was essential that she learned to discipline herself to focus. Widowed at 51, as she aged alone in her home, she began forgetting where she put things. When she lost her keys and could ask no one for help, she told herself “You’ve got to pay attention.” And she realized her head was often thinking one thing, while her hands were doing something else (like putting the keys in an unlikely place).

It’s easy for me–and no doubt us if we are caregivers and/or have aging parents–to  juggle too much and lose focus. Depending on our age, we may or may not have memory concerns about ourselves.  On the other hand, when older parents start forgetting, an alarm bell is often triggered

. Since Sr. Advisor R, 100-years-old and my mother-in-law, is way ahead of me in life’s lessons, I needn’t share the 4 suggestions with her. She lives by them. That said, sharing these suggestions with elders who seem frustrated–or are frustrating us–because of memory problems, is another way we can help parents age well.
Related: 2 posts written in early January 2012–basically this same time of year: and with Sr. Advisor psychiatrist, Dr. Bud’s (MD) observations and suggestions and A Burke Rehabilitation (NY) physician distinguishes between benign forgetfulness and dementia.  A model difficult conversation is included here..

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely tips, information and research from top universities and respected professionals–to help parents age well.

One thought on “Aging Parents and Us: Memory Loss or Loss of Focus?

  1. Pingback: Why Older Adults Are Lousy Multitaskers | Beyond Halfway

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