Healthy older adults’ perceptions of their memory functioning and use of mnemonics
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Interview data were gathered from a purposive sample of 40 healthy, articulate older adults (54 to 85 years old, median = 68 years) concerning the events causing memory problems in their everyday activities, the extent to which they felt they had experienced any change in memory as they grew older, and the sorts of memory aids they employed. The examples of forgetting they provided included both retrospective memory failures (the most common and most irritating being the inability to recall someone’s name) and prospective memory failures (e.g., forgetting to get or do a certain thing while out shopping). For each specific type of memory failure, the modal response was of no change with aging, yet 70% of participants reported an increase in memory failure for one or more items. The memory aids most widely reported involved external mnemonics such as writing notes and placing things in conspicuous places so as not to forget them. The pattern of use of mnemonics parallels other data in the literature for younger adults.
KeywordsProspective Memory Elderly Adult Memory Event Memory Problem Memory Decline
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