If you find yourself forgetting things (and taking more time to remember them than you want), read Dr. Bill Thomas’ post, Tip of the Tongue, over at his Changing Aging blog. He writes about the brain and presents a broad range of research findings that address memory, forgetting, remembering, age, and ageism. As we grow older and despite forgetting, Dr. Bill emphasizes, most of the information is still in our brain as we move toward elderhood, though we are a bit less efficient at retrieving it quickly.
Best Quote from this Changing Aging Blog Post
It turns out that younger brains are good at quickly recalling bits of information (like a name or where you put your car keys) because they have a relatively straightforward filing system. Older people, by dint of long experience, “store” memories within a more diffuse network of brain systems.
At least once a day I have a tip-of-the-tongue experience, and almost always, the thought that I was trying so hard to remember pops into my head sometime later in the day. My parents, age 89 and 85, have the same experience. I do not worry about it, and I encourage them not to worry too much about it, because we almost always remember the information in a relatively short time (or we know where to go to find it).
I stopped worrying about forgetting after I attended a parents’ weekend lecture some years ago at Brown University — in a large lecture hall, standing room only. The lecturer, a professor and brain researcher whose class my daughter was taking (and whose name I cannot remember just now), shared some interesting and reassuring facts using a metaphor of old-fashioned library card catalog.
Important Lecture Points With Some of My Editorial Notes Read more »
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
- Pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically.
- Of a very high standard; excellent.
Construction of the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community Green House Homes at Woodland Park is moving along. On two of the buildings the outside stonework will be completed soon. The stonework was so lovely that I shot a close-up with my camera.
Yet another friend has skin cancer. She always used sun blocking lotions, but also enjoyed staying out in the sun for long periods. (I have her permission to write this much.)
Check out the post about a new mobile skin-check app at the Health and Medical News and Resources blog. The app, developed by the University of Michigan (UM) Medical School and UM Health System, helps people monitor skin spots that may be cancerous. The post explains how the new app works — basically it walks users through a full-body skin check, especially the using device’s camera, to help a person monitor and screen skin spots. Also, check out the other skin cancer links at the post.
Watch This Introductory Video from the University of Michigan Read more »
Whether we are talking about the eyes of our senior parents or our own aging adult child eyes, protection from the sun is critical for eye health. Urgent, in fact.
The solar shield sunglasses given to me after my eye surgery are comfortable and filter out a lot of the damaging glare and light. They fit right over my glasses when I am not wearing my contact lenses.
When I wear my contacts I use various pairs of sunglasses, but I’ve never been very careful about the UVA and UVB protection — some have it and others do not. Since my retinal surgery I’ve become more selective. Anything I can do to protect my eyes in the coming years, I plan to do.
I’ve discovered that UVA and UVB protection sunglasses come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. I’ve looked at them at Target, CVS, and Rite Aid. I’ve seen them at my local BJ’s and also at Nordstrom, but at department stores — where the focus is on fashion — one must read the labels carefully. Online sunglasses are easy to find, but read the fine print. Foster Grant makes lots of frames with good protection.
Read these resources to learn a bit more about eye and sun safety and choosing protective sunglasses. Read more »
The other night we went to see the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and boy, did we enjoy ourselves.
A group of British retirees, most seeking lower costs and a bit of adventure, ends up as the guests in a seedy, formerly grand hotel in Jaipur, India. In fact, the hotel is terrible. It’s not what they expect, but the endearing, entrepreneurial proprietor draws them in. As the movie zooms in on the characters’ personal stories we found ourselves gazing through familiar late-in-life prisms. Did I mention some of the fairly obnoxious adult children?
Marigold introduces a woman who was let go after training her own replacement, the parents who invested in their daughter’s start-up (yes, boomers everywhere are giving lots of money to their kids), and the woman who trusted her beloved husband who then left her in debt. We become acquainted with a retired attorney, drawn back to the place of a great love affair, and several others who just want to be less lonely. Because these are British characters, the frustrations tend to be understated — but frustrations, none the less. The Indian characters are just as engaging, fully developed, and far more exuberant.
Last Sunday I had retinal eye surgery. Below is the post that I wrote just before leaving for the hospital.
I am about to be on my way to the hospital for urgent eye surgery.
A few months ago I wrote about eye and retina health after reading an article and remembering my retinal tear that was repaired with laser surgery. That post has links to reliable sources of information about retina problems.
After my retinal laser surgery I was told by my doctor to keep close track of the flashes and floaters in my eye. I have, going back to the ophthalmologist several times, when I felt the situation had changed. Each time the situation was stable. But I knew that given my age and nearsightedness, I needed to keep track.
Two days ago I began to see something that I did not expect. Instead of flashes and floaters, a black shadow came out of the top right corner of my eye and then disappeared. It did not look like a curtain and did not look live a flash. Over 24 hours it got worse, so I called the doctor late on Saturday afternoon. He met me at his office last evening, half-an-hour later.
When it comes to her iPhone, few learning difficulties have popped up for my mom, age 84. I am delighted at the ease with which she has transferred from her old flip phone to this one — a 3G that I retired when I updated my iPhone.
How Mom is Using her iPhone
- Her first lesson focused on typing in her contacts, and she caught on right away and also understands how to make a call using the contacts app.
- The visual cues on the iPhone screen are terrific.
- She loves being able to sit in a comfortable chair and play solitaire — no lessons required for this!
- She enjoys using the speaker feature rather than holding the phone up to her ear.
- She likes to use Safari anytime and anywhere when she wants to look something up, though like me, she is sometimes frustrated when the phone is slower because there is no wi-fi.
- She is starting to use the map app.