05 Dec Seven Kinds of Memory, and Which Ones May Weaken as we Age
Memory lapses are a normal part of aging. Knowing the kinds of memory we use can make it easier to understand which ones cause glitches for us, and what adjustments we can make to better manage our memory.
Here are four types of memories that tend to decline as we age:
Working memory is about holding two or more pieces of temporary information in the mind as you manipulate them. You can still do this, but it may take you a little longer than it used to. Reducing distractions may also be helpful.
Episodic memory is memory of past experiences and specific events in our lives. Photo albums and journals or diaries can be helpful reminders.
Prospective memory is for remembering something in the future, such as an appointment. Using a calendar or electronic reminders (e.g. bells, e-mails, blinking lights) is helpful for many people.
Detail memory relates to remembering such things as an acquaintance’s name, the exact date, details of a story, or everything on a list of grocery items. Paying attention, attaching meaning, and rehearsing (repeating) can be very helpful in anchoring information in the first place.
Here are three kinds of memory that tend to hold up well as we age:
Primary or short-term memory
Primary or short-term memory is about holding a piece of information for a short time, such as looking up and remembering a phone number long enough to call it.
Declarative memory relates to recall of facts, and they should be accessed from time to time to keep them available to you.
Procedural memory is memory of how to do something.
Three strategies for slowing down memory decline are intellectual stimulation, social involvement, and aerobic exercise. A healthy diet and avoidance of toxic substances are also helpful in slowing memory decline.