Did you know that your memory will never be as good as it was when you were 25? With each year that we age, we must work harder on learning and retaining new information. The brain can only hold between 5-8 new pieces of information at a time. Let me put this in prospective. Let's say that you are sitting in your living room and decide that you want to make some coffee so you get up to go to the kitchen. On your way to the kitchen the phone rings and you have the following conversation. (ring ring) "Hello? Oh hey Betty! What are you up to? Oh the movies? Well that's lovely. What did you see? Oh you took the grandkids to see that new cartoon movie? Well that's so sweet. The mall? At 2? Yes that would be great. Hey, we can try out that new chocolate place! I'll get coconut and you get caramel and we'll share! You want to meet in front of Macy's? At 2 o'clock? Ok, and I'll bring the vacation photos. You want me to call Sue? Will do! I'll see ya soon Betty!" And then you hang up the phone. So let's see how many pieces of new information your brain processed during that call. 1. Betty went to the movies with her grandkids. 2. They saw that new cartoon movie. 3 . She wants to meet you at the mall. 4. Y'all are going to try that new chocolate place. 5. You'll get coconut and she'll get caramel and ya'll will share. 6. Meet in front of Macy's. 7. At 2 o'clock. 8. Bring the vacation photos. 9. Call Sue. 9 new pieces of information just in that short call. So something out of those 9 things is going to be forgotten. Either you'll leave the photos, forget to call Sue or won't remember what movie they went to see. But also, what were you doing before the call? COFFEE! Yes! This is when we walk back and forth trying to remember what we were doing before that phone started ringing. Sound familiar? This why we start placing a note pad and pen by the phone. These are all signs of normal aging. Now, a Sapphire with the beginning signs of dementia, will go through the same phone call but it ends a bit differently. At 2:30 a person with dementia receives a call from Betty that goes like this. (ring ring) "Hello? Hey Betty! What do you mean where am I? I'm at home. Where are you? At the mall? No you didn't call me. No Betty you did not call me. Honey I think you might have that dementia. You should tallk to your doctor about that." Now some of us may have forgotten that we were going to go meet Betty but when she called to see where we were at, we would have immediately remembered the conversation. A person with dementia will not.

Tomorrow's blog-Sapphire. Senior Helpers is locally owned and operated, serving seniors in Victoria and surrounding counties. Call 361-894-8901 for more information on our GEMS workshops. All workshops are offered free of costs.