Is being absent-minded in middle age normal?

The information you're trying to remember hasn't been lost, it just takes longer to call it up

NEW YORK (CNN) – Being forgetful as our hair goes gray, doesn’t mean we’re losing it. Being absent minded is a part of normal aging.

Joan Boneberg is a busy business owner and author.  in her late 40’s she started forgetting things like where she left her keys or phone.

“Frankly, sometimes it just drives you batty,” said Boneberg.

However, forgetting people’s names or where you put something is perfectly normal as we age. The good news, for a healthy brain, it won’t get worse as you get older. Here’s what’s going on.

“Our ability to process information simply gets slower. How we encode and learn information is slower,” said Dr. Sharon Bergquist.

Our brains shrink as we age, but the information you’re trying to remember hasn’t been lost, it just takes longer to call it up.

“The middle age brain becomes more distracted, so it’s harder for us to focus on tuning out more irrelevant information. We have to be more deliberate and focused,” said Dr. Sharon Bergquist.

Like Joan, get organized. Make lists, look at your schedule, and put things like your keys in a designated place.

“Stay physically active and mentally engaged, constantly learning helps the brain keep developing new pathways. Also, existing pathways get crisper and sharper and information travels down those pathways a little faster,” said Dr. Bergquist.

Finally, don’t forget your sense of humor.

“I would much rather use my energy to laugh rather than to sob,” said Bonenburg.

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