This research paper assesses the effects of aging to the loss of memory that is being experienced by people above the 65 years age bracket in the country. The study intends to investigate the individual opinion that is held by people who have clocked this age on this issue of memory loss.
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Among the issues that will be addressed will ascertain to whether the respondents to be interviewed are suffering from memory loss. In order that the objectives of this research paper are met, the study will employ the survey research design to the targeted population of the elderly beyond 65 years.
The people who will be interviewed are going to be selected randomly from the population that is under study. In order that the researcher comes with a good conclusion regarding the topic, a one-on-one interview with the respondents will be employed to obtain the primary data that will be used to draw the conclusion. The respondents will be at liberty to express their personal opinions on their experience in their aging process with regard to memory.
Aging is a continuous process that is very complex and it begins the day one is born and ends when the person dies (Nelson & Gilbert, 2005). The aging process is only evadable if one dies young. The proportion of the aging members of the American community within the age bracket of over 65+ years accounts for more than 13.5% of the country’s population (Hof & Mobbs, 2009).
These members of the community have remained healthy and are still working. This triggers unprecedented curiosity to carry out research on the ageing members of the society experiences to this inevitable part of the human life.
The society has had perception of aging experiences among them the view that people who are over the age of 65 years have numerous limitations among them physical, mental, health and social limitations. As human beings grow up, they learn to cope successfully with the challenges they encounter.
For instance, in this process they go to school, make friends, they are employed and so on. As all these things happen in their lives and they are able to cope with them accordingly. Therefore, it is public opinion that aging comes with numerous limitations the study will investigate as to whether this perception is true.
The study will discern as to whether this process of aging more so for people over the age of 65 years experience memory loss or it is just another of the numerous misunderstandings and stereotyping about old people (Sigelman & Rider, 2011). This has necessitated the need to come up with the real experiences of the old people with regard to memory loss as being eminent.
The aging process comes with numerous changes that are experienced by the elderly. As human being age, there are changes which occur both biological and psychological.
The changes that come with aging especially those exhibited by people the age of 65 years are deemed to be bad. This however is not the case, some of the changes are positive and they are for the better. This research will primarily dwell on the alterations that come with aging and they affect the long and the short- term memories of the individuals.
These changes that are experienced can be attributed to the mental processes for instance; sensational process of the body, the stimulus perception by the body, the memory, the intelligent of the subjects, their problem solving capabilities among other areas that are sensitive to the aging process. However, as illustrated earlier on, the study will only be limited to the effects of aging on the long-term memory of people who are above the 65 years age bracket in the country.
Over the decades many researchers have undertaken the task of investigating whether aging causes memory loss in people who are clocking the 65 years age bracket and over. A number of them have found out that the issue of memory loss can be related to aging. These findings are contained in the researches that have been carried out by different researchers. These researchers came up with a number of conclusions that will be used to justify that aging for sure brings about memory loss. Their views are expressed below.
Relation between aging and memory loss
According to DeFelice &Nirenberg (2001), memory of a human being gives them the capability to store and retrieve information from their brains. Therefore, memory is a very crucial part in their body and it plays a paramount role in cognitive psychology. According to Gerontological Society of America (2006), information storage in the memory takes a three fold process. The first process is involved with encoding the messages that are received by the body receptors.
They are detailed with receiving information from the outside and it is transmitted to the brain (Loue & Sajatovic, 2008). The second process is involved with decoding and the storage of the information and lastly the third process is concerned with the retrieval of that information from the brain when it is required by the person (Newman & Newman, 2008). For instance, their cell-phone number can be crammed and stored in their brain and retrieve it if they want to give it to someone they know.
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This incidence will take the three fold process. According to Craik & Salthouse (2004), these processes are necessitated by the long and the short- term memories. The brief overview of the memory was important as it will aid in relating how aging affects the memory and discerning as to whether the relation between these factors is inverse.
According to Tan (2005), as people continue to age, they begin to experience loss of memory. This deficit in memory capability that is experienced by the aging people makes them incapable to understand executive issues in their lives for example the work they were doing previously. They are prone to forget more and they are easily distracted and completely delusioned by the disruption. They begin to experience difficulties in decoding and retrieving of information that had been stored in their mind.
According to Frye (2007), the long- term memory of the elderly people in the aging process records substantial changes while compared to the short- term memory. As one grows old, the speed at which information received by the person is decoded to understand what the information meant, then the storage of that information decrease with age.
This therefore, translates into many of the Americans beyond the 65 years age bracket experiencing memory loss. This is because as one ages, their body degenerates and it does not produce more brain cells as the existing ones die. The body produces less of the brain chemicals that are meant to stimulate the thinking process and therefore leading to a short- fall in the mental capacity that is held by the person (Hess & Markson, 2005).
This belief that aging results in the reduction of memory and consequently senility roams in is a myth that has been postulated by the people who hold that aging does not affect the short term memory or the remote memory of the individuals but this is not the case.
For instance, in the senior years of one’s life, forgetting the name of a colleague you work with but in a different department in your organization happens, one can forget where one placed the keys of the car. This means that aging affects the memory of human being as they age (Loue & Sajatovic, 2008).
It has been found out that in the senior years of life, persons ability to recall certain events in their lives becomes a problem. This situation is regarded as the errors of omission.
This decline in memory results from the reduction of the amount of blood that is being supplied from the brain. This is because as human beings continue to grow older, their circulation becomes less efficient, the amount of blood that is pumped to this essential organ reduces as one continues to age.
The decline in the amount of blood that is required by the brain negatively affects the individual’s capability to store and retrieve information from their memory. The decline in the flow of blood to the brain may also result from the increase in the number of cardiac diseases that the elderly are prone to (Furino, 2005).
It has been found out that aging affects the brain cells responsible for memory. These cells as highlighted previously release some chemicals that are entailed with sending information in the brain from one part of the brain to another. The emission of the chemicals makes the tasking of communication in the brain easy and quicker.
However, as one ages the emission of these chemicals declines and this adversely affects the memory of the person. It makes recalling of information that is stored in the brain very hard and this is because the brains cells are not communicating as they should be. Absolute deficiency of these neurotransmitters in the brain could lead to total loss of memory which is common in very old people (Czaja & National Research Council (U.S.), 2001).
This section in the research paper will cover the following areas: the research design that will be employed, the data collection techniques that will be employed to come up with the required information and lastly data analysis.
This study will employ a survey research design. This is because a survey research design is effective in obtaining information pertaining people’s thoughts about specific issues, people’s feelings and opinions (Willis, 2005). The research design is very suitable when the area that is under study is very large for instance the number of elderly people in the country has exceeded the 13% mark.
Another reason why this design is used in such kind of researches is because it makes sure that the area of the study that is under investigation can be observed by the researcher. Research design is often used by researchers because it avails the required information readily and at low costs (Oppenheim, 2011).
This research intends to use primary data as its source of information that will be used to avail the information that shall discern the relationship that exists between aging and memory loss. To obtain this information, this study intends to use an open-ended questionnaire.
These questionnaires will be delivered to the respondents in the aim of collecting data that shall be used for analysis relation between aging and memory loss. The questionnaire will be delivered to the respondents by the researcher and so as to obtain the desired information for the research. In this research the researcher will carry out a face-to-face interview with the respondents so as to explain exactly what the questions in the questionnaire are meant to achieve.
The research questionnaire
- Does memory loss indicate aging?
- Do you believe that aging brings about memory loss?
- Is there anything you think you can do to prevent memory loss due to aging?
- Are you experiencing loss of memory of recently due to your age for instance the name of a colleague you are working with?
- What is your opinion on aging with regard to the public negative perception of aging and the myths of aging that have been proposed?
The data that will be collected in the research will be analyzed to find out the consistency in the respondents opinions with regard to the memory loss due to aging. The data will be analyzed using mean, mode and median so as to draw the conclusion as to whether it is true that aging brings about memory loss.
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Czaja, S., J. & National Research Council (U.S.). (2001). Human factors research needs for an aging population.National. Academies Press
DeFelice, S.,L. & Nirenberg, S.(2001). Memory loss. New York: L. Stuart. print
Frye, K. L. (2007). Perceptions of retirement and aging as experienced. Canada: ProQuest. print
Furino, A.(2005). Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics: Aging Healthcare Workforce Issues. Volume 25.Pp(26). Springer Publishing Company.
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Sigelman, C., K. Rider, E., A.(2011). Life-Span Human Development. Cengage:Upper Saddle River: engage Learning.
Tan, Z., S. (20o5). Age-Proof Your Mind: Detect, Delay, and Prevent Memory Loss–Before It’s Too Late. New York: Warner Books. Print.
Willis, G.,B. (2005). Cognitive interviewing: a tool for improving questionnaire design. California: SAGE. Print.