Do Senior Moments Start at 50? Maybe There’s a Simple Reason You Forget Things

If you have teens, you are likely entering a new stage of life yourself. You may be struggling with your own hormones, battling stray hairs that pop up in strange places, and questioning your own life choices. You may be concerned that your parents are showing signs of aging or may be sliding into a new role with them, as a part- or full-time caregiver. Memory issues may have become a running joke while you secretly worry that these “senior moments” are indicative of a larger issue.

In Preventing Senior Movements, How to Stay Alert into Your 90s and Beyond, Stan Goldberg, Ph.D. explains that not all “senior moments” are necessarily linked to long-term memory issues. This easy-to digest book provides a number of tips to improve memory and to prevent these moments from happening at all.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that there are things that impact memory at any age. Things such as insufficient sleep or stress both negatively impact memory at any age. And though no one warns us, “brain fog” is a very real symptom of perimenopause

Goldberg explains that many senior moments are due to speech perception errors and processing speed issues. As we age, things that used to be automatic, often take more time, so we need to slow down to improve accuracy.  He argues that it’s important that we accept our age-related limitations and adapt. Physical changes such as hearing loss can lead to speech perception errors and then confusion when what we think we hear makes no sense. With age, our processing skills slow down; this simply means we need a little more time for our brains to register the information our senses are relaying to us.

Getting older also means we lose neurons and synaptic connections, but he says that we can develop new ones by participating in activities that are creative and/or cognitive in nature. And, he says, the effort we put in is ultimately more important than the result. We don’t have to master new things, the mere act of working at a creative endeavor improves memory. In fact, simply planning a project or event has cognitive benefits

A big plus is that these activities don’t have to be complex. Some things that can improve memory:

  • Learning a new skill or language
  • Assembling a jigsaw puzzle
  • Adding a new routine
  • Making up a story
  • Playing video games
  • Participating in discussion groups, such as a book club

While memory lapses can indicate larger issues such as Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, the occasional “senior moment” is not necessarily cause for alarm. This book can provide reassurance as well as actionable steps that one can take to potentially slow the loss of cognitive abilities that frequently comes with aging. If you have concerns about a loved one or yourself, this book is worth the read.

Note: A review copy was provided free of charge, but no compensation was provided for this review which is the honest opinion of the writer.  


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