Absentmindedness Common in Seniors
Older adults commonly forget words that are on the tip of their tongue, but that doesn’t mean they are getting Alzheimer’s, according to a new study.
The research, conducted by experts at the University of Michigan, found that memory lapses, like forgetting words, forgetting where they had placed something or having to reread a sentence for comprehension, were common in 61 percent of the adults they surveyed. Adults who took part were healthy, well-educated and 65 to 92 years old.
The subjects completed a list of the memory errors they’d made in the previous 24 hours, and experts found that about half the errors were due to absentmindedness.
Cindy Lustig, the study’s senior author, cautioned that such absentmindedness didn’t indicate Alzheimer’s. At the same time, Lustig, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, said that some types of memory loss should be monitored by a physician,
She said it was especially important for seniors not to restrict their activities based on fear of absent-mindedness, because it could mean a loss of independence. Instead, they should restructure their lives to minimize absentmindedness.