Memory is our internal storage system readily available for retrieval at any time. It is what we use to recall or remember something. If, when fact checking on your computer, you don’t immediately use that information, it will slip away. Contrary to that, once you get that information and keep using it, eventually it goes into long term storage.
Our memory system is like a computer filled with all sorts of information. For instance, when meeting new people, the best way to remember their name is to use it in a sentence back to them. And repeat it again a second time to etch their name in firmly your memory.
Retrieval is simple for younger people. Now that I am in my 70’s, it definitely takes me longer to retrieve the same information as my 19 year old grandson.
We all have different memories. Some make us happy, some sad. Some create anger or frustration while others create joy. Familiar sounds of a favourite song, the scent of fresh flowers, hearing rain on a roof or tasting a familiar food you haven’t tried for some time are good examples. We frequently think about the past while living in the present.
You meet an old friend on the street but suddenly you have forgotten their name. That is merely a hiccup in your memory process. You are not developing a dementia.
So, who does get dementia? Mostly it is older people but it can happen to people in as young as 40. There are 38 different types of dementia with Alzheimer’s just being one of them. Is there a cure? Not yet but researchers are working on better forms of treatment.
Do you recall your first day of school? That is long term memory.
Do you recall what you ate for breakfast? That is short term memory.
Before CD’s and DVD’s we had cassette tapes. If you mistakenly erased part of a cassette tape, it was gone forever. That is what happens to people who have dementia. They cannot recall certain events that happened to them because they lose bits and pieces of their memory.
Now see how magic moments can put a spark in your memory.