Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Seniors still thinking, absorbing new info., still useful...according to Docs.
YouDocs: Worry not seniors. Memory lapses mean your brain is getting wiser
(From Toronto Star, May 17, 2010)
You can’t find your car in the parking lot. Your wallet’s wandered away again. And where’s that tax-return cheque, anyway? Think you’re losing it? Exhale: Everyday memory lapses may mean your brain’s getting older. But it’s also getting wiser.
No, we haven’t lost our minds. Yes, recall gets tougher with age. That’s partly because our brains are taking in more information than ever before.
But it’s also because we get more easily distracted. Brains of people in their 60s, 70s and 80s get distracted within 200 milliseconds of seeing a set of pictures, according to a recent study.
It happens so fast that people can’t prevent it. The upside? In other new research, seniors absorbed more facts during a memory test than people in their teens and 20s. Plus they were 30 per cent better at using the info later to make decisions. Better decisions! Yes!
Bottom line: You can’t battle distraction with willpower. So don’t merge onto a rush-hour highway while your passengers are singing at the top of their lungs. Don’t toss your car keys any old place. Don’t try to multi-task like a 20-year-old. (If you’re returning a phone call and paying bills, guess which one you’ll screw up?) Instead, do significant tasks one at a time and eliminate distractions. (“Pipe down back there!”) Put important belongings in the same spots (“my passport’s filed under travel”) or write down where they are (“the car’s parked on level 5”). Oh, and when you have an opinion, share it. After all, your brain’s wiser than ever.
As one of these sixty-somethings, this is great news.
What isn't so great is the kind of "stereotyping" of our generation by those coming after. We may have little or no hair, and we may have a slightly enlarged waistline, but we can still think, imagine, create and inspire!
And we would all love more opportunities to do all of these things, for cash, or not!
Like members of all other generations, we love to be useful, needed, without imposing either our wills or our opinions, just our wisdom and insight.