The older you get things obviously change so how do these things affect memory? When you are young you are thought to have a good memory, and most people do. But when you start aging your memory doesn’t necessarily have to weaken. You can do things to help keep your memory strong over the years. Some of these things include staying active physically and mentally, and making sure you’re doing things to refuel your body like eating good foods and getting enough sleep and finally drawing or writing things down before you forget them will help you remember them better and more clearly. 

For things like staying active mentally or physically it doesn’t have to be something complicated or big. It can be something as simple as going out for a walk or working on something like a puzzle. For eating healthy that doesn’t mean you can never have sweets again. You can have treats once and a while but just try and input healthy foods into your everyday diet. Getting enough sleep doesn’t have a set time. It is really just whenever your body feels rested enough that you can actually get out of bed in the morning.  Even if you try doing these things and you are still forgetting that is ok because forgetting things is normal as you get older and no matter what you do you will never remember everything perfectly. Your memory is still doing its job even if you think it isn’t. 

There could be lots of reasons that your memory isn’t remembering things. One reason could be attention. You might have not put a lot of attention into what you are trying to remember. Sometimes you will try to remember something that you did but you didn’t create a memory out of it because you were not paying attention. You can only recall something that you were focused on and were paying attention to. If it is just a thought that crossed your mind you might not remember if seconds later. You can retrace your steps back to when you had the thought and you might be able to remember it better. But the best way to remember something is to pay attention to it in the moment.  

Your five senses play a big role in recalling things from our memory. For example, hearing music that you listened to in the past can trigger memories from times when you listened to that music. But more commonly smell is the sense that is most linked to memories. The reason that smell is the most linked to memories is because smells pass throughout a part in your brain called the olfactory bulb. This olfactory bulb is located near the centers for memory and emotional learning. These centers are in the hippocampus and amygdala parts of your brain. These parts of your brain work together to create declarative and episodic memories. Declarative memories are things that you remember that are fact and your memory can’t twist them. For example someone’s birthday, you have no power to change the day someone was born, you just have to remember. Episodic memories are past events that you are trying to recall. These memories are things that your brain could twist. You could think that you remember something correctly but it is really just your brain filling in the spots that you don’t remember as clearly. 

 If you are concerned about your memory there’s no need to freak out. While you could go to the doctor to get a professional opinion you could look for these signs before you go to the doctor. If you are forgetting things like people’s names then that is no big deal that is normal. But if you are forgetting everyday things like if you find yourself saying what is that thing that you write with? Then that could potentially be a concern but it’s not necessarily serious. So there is no need to jump to any conclusions. There really is nothing that you can do to really avoid memory loss. It is really something that happens to everyone, but some people will get it later than others. During sleep is when your memory would change. Sleep is vital to keep your body running the way you want. When you sleep it is a time for your brain to focus on collecting the knowledge that it gathered during the day, and some of this knowledge is your new memories. There really is no way to save your memory from memory loss. However you can always try and push the memory loss back as far as you can by developing healthy habits. Some of these habits include getting more exercise, getting enough sleep, having a healthy diet and working your mind.  

It is important to do these things because if you don’t this could start affecting your everyday life. You could start to forget common words, take longer to complete simple tasks, misplace things in unusual places or become unfamiliar with a place that you usually are familiar with. These are all signs of dementia. If you decide you don’t think your memory loss will cause dementia you should know that dementia is not the only disease that is caused by memory loss. Dementia is linked to other memory loss diseases like Alzhimers, Vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, a combination of all these dissesses (Mixed dementia). To prevent these things from happening in your earlier life you should take the proper steps to stop it.

I think that your memory changing is not always a bad thing. There are always things to be concerned about with things in our body and your brain. But I would say that you shouldn’t focus on the things that could be happening but on what is happening. Thinking like this could cause a cycle to start. You could start to think about what is possibly wrong and make up things that aren’t true. You could think you have something like Alzheimer or dementia. Thinking  that you have that stuff will cause things like stress and that is no help for trying to strengthen/grow your memory.

Work Cited

https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00032.2012?rfr_dat=cr_pub
https://go.gale.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T001&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&hitCount=60&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm&currentPosition=12&docId=GALE%7CCX3679900052&docType=Experiment+activity&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=ZMID-MOD1&prodId=MSIC&pageNum=1&contentSet=GALE%7CCX3679900052&searchId=R2&userGroupName=wamslib&inPS=true
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/memory-loss/art-20046326#:~:text=Often%2C%20memory%20loss%20that%20disrupts,Forgetting%20common%20words%20when%20speaking
https://www.science.org.au/curious/people-medicine/all-our-different-types-memories#:~:text=Declarative%20memories%20are%20facts%20or,as%20information%20about%20the%20world.

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Jocelyn B.
December 13, 2023 5:54 am

Dear Alexa, 

Your most made me realize how we are prone to suffer from memory loss as we age. There are things such as having a good diet, exercising, and sleeping that can strengthen your memory. We shouldn’t really stress though, with age comes memory loss. It is a concern when you forget things such as how to brush your teeth or what you write with. Something I wonder is at what age are we more likely prone to start forgetting things more?

Sincerely,

Jocelyn

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