Advise Me

When Is Normal Aging Really Something Serious?

Senior moments: We joke about them on television and in movies, and we may kid older friends and family about them once in a while. Some of these moments are normal parts of aging, but others are not and could be a sign of something much more serious.

Getting older may mean forgetting where you parked your car or having a “tip of the tongue” moment every now and then. However, a lot of things are not normal to aging. Heather Mulder, senior outreach manager at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, shares these pieces of fact and fiction to help shine the light on what is a normal part of aging.

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  • Fiction: Forgetting what you ate for lunch today is a normal part of aging. 
  • Fact: Forgetting someone’s name but remembering it later is a normal part of aging.
  • Fiction: Becoming very withdrawn after retirement is a normal part of aging.
  • Fact: Little or no contact with other people is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
  • Fiction: Keeping your mind busy by staying up late and getting up early is good for your brain.
  • Fact: Learning a new language is a great way to exercise your brain.
  • Fiction: Certain supplements have been proven to help boost your memory.
  • Fact: The FDA has not approved any new drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in the past 15 years.
  • Fiction: Men are affected by Alzheimer’s Disease more often than women.
  • Fact: Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
  • Fiction: If my mom had Alzheimer’s Disease, that means I will get it too.
  • Fact: By age 85, people have a nearly 50/50 chance of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

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So, while some senior moments are just a normal part of aging, make sure they aren’t something more serious. If it seems more serious, it might be time to discuss it with your, or your loved one’s, doctor. It may be nothing to worry about, but it also could be something serious.

And, don’t forget, the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and the Banner Sun Health Research Institute have a wealth of information relating to memory and aging. If you are interested, you can also take part in a clinical trial, but remember you don’t have to take research medications, or medicines being studied for effectiveness, to join a trial. 

Also read: Tips to Help Maintain Your Memory

Alzheimers Disease and Dementia Senior Health