Where are the points
Amazingly familiar situation. They put the necessary thing somewhere and cannot find it, and then say to yourself: “Sclerosis!” The youth utters this word with coquetry, and in the voice of an elderly person there is annoyance.
Most people consider this kind of forgetfulness a sign of age-related memory loss, although in this case it’s just a lack of attention. And since memory is closely related to intellectual activity, an older person may experience a pessimistic reassessment of his abilities, which he associates with the onset of old age.
Is it correct? What actually happens to our memory when the age “passes over” for 40, then for 50, for 60 and further? Is memory impairment consistent with age and how is it related to physical and mental health? Can an older person improve memory and how to do it? I will try to answer questions that concern people who have reached old age.
First of all, let’s understand what memory is. This short word implies an extremely complex system of brain functioning. It includes many biophysical, biochemical and mental processes. There are several different types of memory that, as they say, live side by side without interfering with each other. Each of them is characterized by specific mechanisms. They “act” in special time modes and are associated with different areas of the brain. There are at least three memory subsystems: sensory, short-term and long-term.
SENSORY MEMORY retains in our consciousness a fairly clear and complete picture of the world perceived by the senses. The duration of its storage in the brain is very short, about half a second. Her goal is not to memorize, but to fix and capture the world around us. In turn, sensory memory is divided into iconic (vision), echoic (hearing) and others, respectively, to the senses. Thanks to her, we recognize the smell of jasmine and naphthalene, the taste of chocolate and pepper, the sound of the sea and the train whistle.
SHORT-TERM MEMORY is also called working, or operational. That is what we use most often. However, the possibilities of this memory are limited. With its help, only five to seven consecutive pieces of information are remembered, be it words, letters, or numbers. But it eliminates unnecessary material, and with the help of repetition, the necessary material, including information coming from the sensory memory, translates into a long-term one. She also retrieves it from there if necessary. For example, when we solve a difficult problem or remember something important.
LONG-TERM MEMORY is the most important and complex of all. Its capacity is almost unlimited. She keeps our experience and knowledge acquired throughout life. In principle, the human brain can hold 10 to the twentieth degree of information. If translated into a language that everyone understands, it corresponds to the information contained in millions of volumes of books.
Our memory can do a lot: memorize material, sort the most necessary and significant, store and retrieve the necessary at a critical moment. However, the storage system stores and records not the pure material of our knowledge and experience, but its meaning. Simply put, we try not only to remember, but to understand.
In a child, each new concept is built from scratch. He accumulates knowledge mainly by rote memorization. In later years, learning takes on a different character: unknown concepts are assimilated by analogy with those that are known. Therefore, the flexibility of perception of information decreases as the formation of the memory structure. This is connected with the fact that with age it is becoming more and more difficult for a person to change the belief system. It is easier to reject the new, contrary to his experience.
Stop! We got to the point of concern to all questions. One of the main reasons for the restructuring of memory in old age is associated with the accumulation of knowledge and, as a result, the development of conservatism in the thinking of an elderly person. Paradoxically, but true.
Many psychologists and physicians believe that the weakening of memorization in old age is of an adaptive nature and to a certain extent improves the structure of memory. After all, the logical and systematic assimilation of material prevails over mechanical.
Of course, we should not forget that in older people the speed of mental processes slows down, their stability is disturbed, and the mobility of the cerebral cortex decreases. General mechanisms of age-related changes, of course, affect memory. Specialists of the Institute of Gerontology under the guidance of Professor N. B, Mankovsky, for many years conducted research in this direction. They showed that in older people the information storage system, that is, long-term memory, almost does not change with age. However, memorization of a rarely encountered and complex material worsens. Memory on visual-spatial information suffers more than on speech. The ability to extract the material needed at the moment is weakened, that is, the short-term memory is deteriorating. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly train it by memorizing and repeating material, to be able to focus.
A decrease in learning abilities is observed only in people over 70 years old, but mental functions, including memory and learning ability, in older people are characterized by considerable individuality and very often may not deteriorate to a ripe old age. The American colleagues from the National Gerontological Center (Baltimore) also came to this conclusion.
I want to draw your attention to the fact that very often senile disorders of the brain are associated not with physiological changes, but with causes of a social nature: loneliness, awareness of one’s own uselessness, suffering from the absence of care and love. GROWN CHILDREN, Grandchildren, LAWYERS, REMEMBER; A GOOD MENTAL CONDITION OF NEAR YOUR ELDERLY PEOPLE DEPENDS ON YOUR SENSITIVITY, ATTENTION. CARE.
Scientists are working on drugs to improve memory and susceptibility to learning. There is a number of drugs for this. But I would recommend a different way to improve memory. He is not her systematic training; it is necessary daily to achieve successful memorization and assimilation of material This is, by the way, a tip for people of all ages.
Throughout life, you should constantly train the brain. To do this, you need to read, retell what you read, learn poems, listen to musical works and discuss them. As texts for later replay, choose short stories by Chekhov, Leskov, Bunin, Zoshchenko, Ilf and Petrov, Turgenev, Maugham, O. Henry. In this case, of course, be guided by your own taste and interests. Retell passages from a story or novel that you are currently reading. It is advisable to change the style of reproduction, trying not to deviate from the text, and another time try to convey the read in your own words. When memorizing poems, start with the quatrains. It is preferable to choose classical poetry, characterized by easy rhyme, well-memorized. I would recommend poems by Pushkin, Tyutchev, Lermontov, Fet, Blok, Yesenin, Tvardovsky.
In a week try to learn a poem of any size and retell from 2 to 8 pages of text. It is good if there is an attentive listener – a person of about the same age and whose interests coincide with yours.
I would advise you to record the names of the leading actors while watching a television movie or a performance. Then you will not have a feeling of annoyance if you forget the name of your favorite artist. Briefly tell in writing the plot of the film or play. Share your thoughts about the film, play, read book with your friends and acquaintances, discuss their content. This is also a memory training.