Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Am I Being Forgetful or Distracted?
Old 06-24-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,885
Am I Being Forgetful or Distracted?

So, I find that I think about doing something, then either forget or get distracted. This isn't major things (like leaving the stove on), but little things.

For example the other day when going to the dentist at checkout, I paid the bill and waited for the receptionist to process it. A few minutes later, the receptionist calls me by name and go, "here's your receipt." I go, "oh, sorry, I thought you were still at your desk, I must have been daydreaming" It was a bit funny I guess as I didn't even know she was next to me.

Just now, I went for a bicycle ride. Before putting my bicycle in my storage room by my parking spot, I say to myself..."remember to bring my water bottle out of the bottle cage." Then of course, I forget. So I put the bicycle in, then have open up the storage again to get the bottle.

I know none of these incidents would not have happened 10 years ago.

Maybe it's because we live in a multi-tasking world? Always on the the next thought. Or perhaps it's a negative consquence of being retired, my mind not as sharp as it was back in the days of w*rking.
__________________

__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-24-2012, 09:15 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 944
I'm afraid you have obvious signs of severe dementia.





. Kidding I am 55 and have the same things happen often. I have to stick a letter in the top of my steering wheel partially blocking my view so I don't forget to put it in the mail box etc.
I think this is normal aging. I seem to always be daydreaming now - as opposed to always stressing while working. I'll take daydreaming anyday.
__________________

__________________
Freed at 49. You only live once - live it
Donzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 09:21 AM   #3
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,423
If you're aware of it, it is probably age related forgetfulness.
__________________
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 09:27 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
Richard4444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: South Florida
Posts: 402
Is that like when I go to the kitchen from my computer room and then cannot remember why I went there?
__________________
Richard4444 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,968
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard4444 View Post
Is that like when I go to the kitchen from my computer room and then cannot remember why I went there?
Yet if you walk back to your computer room, you remember what the original mission was! What's up with that

Now what was the OP's question...

I think it's normal as we age, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. My memory used to much better, especially in remembering numbers. I could accurately remember a number I heard in a normal conversation to how ever many decimal places weeks later, can't do that reliably anymore, comes and goes. Sometimes phone numbers are too long to remember nowadays...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
If you're aware of it, it is probably age related forgetfulness.

That is a very good point. Since I'm aware of it, that's a good sign.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 09:43 AM   #7
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
That is a very good point.
I've been told that awareness of the details of what you are forgetting is the difference between normal forgetfulness and something more serious.

edit: Just way your edit. Yes, a very good sign.
__________________
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 10:02 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 728
Curious on your age......I'm in my late 60s and see every change mentioned above. My wife, who is quite a bit younger is almost as bad as me. I know I've seen a change in the past few years but as I look to individuals in their late 70s, they appear to be even more forgetful than me. I'm still working and everybody at work really believes that I'm as sharp mentally as I ever was....I know better.

How does one know when it is dementia rather than normal aging? I want to make sure I turn over important decisions, rather than fight to retain them, when it's time to do so. My parents wouldn't....and the family lost heavily because of it.

How do really old folks keep from getting scammed or causing family "wars" as they age but don't understand or accept it?
__________________
jerome len is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 10:39 AM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
Maybe it's because we live in a multi-tasking world? Always on the the next thought. Or perhaps it's a negative consquence of being retired, my mind not as sharp as it was back in the days of w*rking.
I think we reach a threshold where we're doing a task for the 10,000th time and stop paying attention. The trick is to keep your focus on a task instead of being distracted by anticipating something else that you're going to be doing (or would rather be doing).

When I think back to my working days, I was usually exhausted and nursing a chronic tension headache. It was all I could do to stay polite, let alone awake, until bedtime. I'll take retirement distraction any day.

Part of it is because your brain fills up. It's all in there somewhere, and your mental hard drive is thrashing around trying to find it. If you don't frequently refresh vocabulary or a skill by practicing it every week or so, then it goes into "tip of my tongue" storage.

My worst mistakes come when I'm simply not paying attention. If I'm paying a bill at a restaurant, and someone starts a conversation with me, I frequently have to ask the conversationalist to give me a minute to finish the transaction. Otherwise I'll leave my credit card at their cash register, my wallet on the counter, and my car keys at the table. If I'm getting ready to go out the door and someone wants to chat about something while I'm trying to load up the car, I'll forget half of the things I should be bringing along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome len View Post
How does one know when it is dementia rather than normal aging? I want to make sure I turn over important decisions, rather than fight to retain them, when it's time to do so. My parents wouldn't....and the family lost heavily because of it.
How do really old folks keep from getting scammed or causing family "wars" as they age but don't understand or accept it?
I've read up on this while caring for my Dad.

Most elders aren't interested in taking dementia tests, like spelling words backward or drawing an analog clock face and setting it to certain times. However if they're referred by a doctor then they're more likely to go for a consult.

The "answer" is that you usually don't know when you don't know. You're already a little confused and maybe even disoriented, and then you feel that you're being condescended to and manipulated. Defensiveness kicks in right after that. Dementia has a number of complicated causes including symptoms related to blood pressure, diabetes, medications, lower tolerance for alcohol, and many other medical syndromes. In general, high-functioning individuals can mask dementia symptoms for much longer. My father's in mid-stage Alzheimer's but can still pass a mini-mental state exam and can engage in social conversation for over 30 minutes before the other person begins to notice the issues. He only runs into trouble when he has to demonstrate specific skills, like balancing a checkbook or having to dial "9" for an outside line before dialing 911.

When he was sliding down the Alzheimer's slope, any unsolicited mail would get a check from him. It started out with causes that he supported from personal experience, like curing cancer, and then went into things like police fraternal organizations and kid's ID programs. By the time he moved into a care facility he was writing 2-3 checks per month for $20-$30 per organization. Once your check is received by one organization and they sell their mailing list, everyone piles in. I've heard of elders giving thousands of dollars to charity fundraisers just because they identify with the appeal or feel the urge to help. The only solutions are to keep the junk mail from showing up, or to take away the checkbook, or to keep their check from going in the mail.

Most of the time the transfer of power is initiated by an authority figure like the doctor, the police, or the DMV. Then a spouse or an adult child can finally use that as a lever to get the revocable living trust change or the joint checking account or the power of attorney.

I've read that in a perfect world, the elder would hand over the power at a certain milestone like an 82nd birthday or an adult child's retirement. My spouse says she's taking over our finances when she turns 60 ("Sure, dear, just when I get it all running in autopilot") and then turning it over to our daughter when SHE turns 60.

The advantage of this turnover deadline is that I'll get to spend more time surfing and less time logging into financial websites...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 10:55 AM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,036
Maybe it's the technology, but I feel less focused nowadays. I used to be able to concentrate on one task at a time, but now I feel forever distracted. Between the phone calls, emails, text messages, skype messages, etc... popping up every 5 minutes and requiring attention, it's hard to just stick to one task at a time. As I am typing this post (in English), I am messaging with my sister (in French), and talking to DW (in English). Where was I? Ah yes, so I find it hard to not let a few little things fall in the cracks...
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,714
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
I think it is a function of what you are thinking about. If you go to the kitchen single-minded, you will remember why you went there. 20 years ago, I would pass my exit on the freeway while talking on the phone. Now I just tell people I will call them after I finish driving.

How about writing a shopping list and then forgetting to check it. That`s DW!
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 12:10 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,885
I've never done the forgetting to check the shoppling list. But forgetting to bring the list, done that several times!
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 01:16 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
grasshopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,669
Ms G just puts down her shopping list on the shelf in the store, with her coupons and we than spend 20 min looking for it.
__________________
For me experiences are not good or bad, just different
grasshopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 01:25 PM   #14
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,840
I forgot to take the trash out last week, despite thinking, "Now, I need to remember to do that when I get home tonight". It wasn't a problem, since we have trash collection twice a week, but still it bothered me that I forgot. I guess it made it a little more plain to me that I am getting older, and I would rather be younger so that is annoying.

But on reconsideration, it also seems to me like one of the luxuries of getting older is that we can get a little drifty and nobody seems to mind. If you think you are getting TOO drifty, though, and forgetting too much, I'd ask family, friends, or whoever you spend time with the most these days, if they have seen changes that cause them concern. It's easier for others to see than to see these things in ourselves.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
Definately an age problem. DW starts talking to me in the car, I miss the exit on the freeway. Totally her fault for distracting me! I have much less attention to spare. Enough to drive, but less left over for navigation and talking. Luckily DW shows the same kind of problems I had at her age, so I'll accept this as normal.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
But on reconsideration, it also seems to me like one of the luxuries of getting older is that we can get a little drifty and nobody seems to mind.
You should've seen the checklists, spreadsheets, monthly/weekly calendars, To-Do lists, and post-it reminders that my Dad used for over two years of coping with Alzheimer's.

He never talked about his system, but I guess what he described as "slipping memory" bothered his engineer's personality enough that he built an elaborate support structure to help him keep up. Even today he still keeps some of those calendars & reminders around him at the care facility.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 03:07 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
Semiretired2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Central Ga
Posts: 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
You should've seen the checklists, spreadsheets, monthly/weekly calendars, To-Do lists, and post-it reminders that my Dad used for over two years of coping with Alzheimer's.

He never talked about his system, but I guess what he described as "slipping memory" bothered his engineer's personality enough that he built an elaborate support structure to help him keep up. Even today he still keeps some of those calendars & reminders around him at the care facility.
My mother used those systems also - from her 40's forward. It was more driven because her life was busy (she made it busy). When she started slipping into alzheirmer's she started forgetting to use her system properly - that was the signal to her.

My duaghter (age 27) uses a system - doubtful that she has early problems - just busy... She also forgets the list on the counter when going shopping...
__________________
If you want someone to believe in you - First you have to believe in yourself and then you go from there...
Semiretired2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 03:21 PM   #18
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
I like to think that my brain is almost full so I would have to empty something out to remember the new stuff.

Bill Cosby said that as you age, your brain migrates to your butt, so you can't remember what you got up to do until you sit back down.

I've also heard Alzheimer's described as not forgetting to bring your car keys, but forgetting what the car keys are for.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 03:30 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
grasshopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,669
Ms G loves to give me street directions 2 hours before the first turn, like I can remember 20 lefts and rights.
__________________
For me experiences are not good or bad, just different
grasshopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 03:53 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,257
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
Just now, I went for a bicycle ride. Before putting my bicycle in my storage room by my parking spot, I say to myself..."remember to bring my water bottle out of the bottle cage." Then of course, I forget. So I put the bicycle in, then have open up the storage again to get the bottle.
I don't know if this makes you feel better about yourself, or worse about me, but I've always been like that. Even when I was younger. Some people have mentioned in this thread already, but I am often thinking about multiple things at once, and casualty is usually one of those things that aren't all that important.

About the forgetting part (shopping list, things to bring to a place, etc) - If I am lazy to write them down or I am in bed and remember I need to do something, (I learned this trick in Psychology 101 in college), visualize the item much bigger than its actual size in your mind. (I realize there is no reference point in your mind's eye, but this works well for me.) - HUGE milk junk, HUGE Kellogg corn flake box, HUGE toothpaste, etc, and I try to remember the total number of items I need to remember.

One time, I remembered that I needed to put chicken in the freezer, so I pictured A HUGE freezer in my mind, but when I retrieved it from my memory bank, it was just a white rectangle. I was like was I supposed to remember to bring some paper to work? I came to the right conclusion after a short time, but I should have pictured a HUGE chicken instead (or a 3 demensional freezer.)
__________________

__________________
tmm99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:54 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.