Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Durham Senior Care: What is Working Memory?

By Todd Palmer

Durham Senior CareMemory is an essential part of life; it is through memory that individuals recall the significance of important events, learn about the world around them, and build relationships with people they care about. While memory is a crucial aspect of life, it is true that there are actually different kinds of memory. Julie of Durham, North Carolina, learned a bit about working memory as she was researching memory loss to better understand her aging mother's condition. Here are some of the highlights about this type of memory that Julie believes are important for all caregivers to understand.[1]

  • Working memory can be thought of as a Post-it note for the brain, as it allows the mind to juggle multiple activities at once. Because the brain is processing new information as it is storing it, it is important that working memory can keep all of the data coming into the brain straight.
  • Through working memory, individuals can retain involvement in an activity longer than without it, as it allows the brain to keep information in focus while applying it to the activity at hand.
  • Information may dissipate if working memory is impaired.
  • Working memory plays an integral role in the planning process, as it allows individuals to think about their goals as they create their plans.
  • There are different types of working memory, including verbal (also called auditory) and visual-spatial.
  • If an individual is experiencing issues with their working memory they may exhibit the following signs: quickly abandoning a project or activity, inability to focus, difficulty following through with a task.
Seniors naturally experience memory loss as they age, as the brain is not able to work as efficiently as it once did; however, the natural memory loss that occurs during the aging process is not disruptive and should not interfere with your elderly loved one's ability to maintain a high quality of life. Julie encourages you to contact your senior's doctor if you think they are suffering from more severe memory loss, as the inability to use working memory and other cognitive functions can prove dangerous if your senior needs assistance that they are not receiving.

Please take advantage of our free e-book that provides information on senior care and an overview of the services we offer.

Please visit our YouTube page, where you'll find short, informative videos on issues surrounding elder care in Durham.

If you are interested in learning more about Alzheimer's, dementia and elder care, contact Todd Palmer and the professionals at Always Best Care of Chapel Hill and Durham at (919) 357-1440 visit their website.

[1] http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/executive-function-disorders/what-is-working-memory-why-does-matter

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