Elder's and memory loss

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Writing/Research Requirement: ASA format

One writing/research assignment (research paper) will be required for this course. The research paper guidelines are as follows (we will discuss this at greater length in class):

  • 8-10 pages (this DOES NOT include the title page and reference pages)
  • 8-10 pages MEANS full pages, in fact it is better to begin the next page with an additional line. I will not accept 9, 9 ¾ , etc.
  • 10-12 peer-reviewed journal articles must be used for your research paper
  • You may only use peer-reviewed journal articles as sources.
  • American Sociological Association guidelines ONLY. Any paper turned in with other formatting will be subjected to a failing grade.
  • Failure to turn in this writing assignment will result in an ‘F’ for this course
  • Outlines
  • Reference ASA format only

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Explanation & Answer



Elders and Memory Loss

Institutional Affiliation






The performance of memory reduces with advancing age although the normal ageassociated memory loss is not uniform. Memory is a critical part of human beings whereby it is
the adaptation aspect that makes one responsive, sentient, and interactional. The loss of memory
in the elderly causes them great worry because it diminishes their consciousness due to the loss
of social and psychological self. The elderly have a poor performance on short-term and longterm memory tasks in comparison to the younger adults whereby the loss of memory is a
component of the normal aging process (Mendonca and Alves, 2015). There is increasing
evidence based on longitudinal and cross-section studies which support that memory loss in the
elderly is inevitable even in the normal aging process.

Scientific opinions also support the pattern of reduction in the memory performance as
individuals approach the later life. The problem of memory loss in the old age is important
because many personalities, perceptual, and cognitive dimensions also change with the loss of
memory (Koen and Yonelinas, 2014). This research paper will evaluate the issue of memory loss
in the elderly by reviewing the current literature on the aging process and memory loss. The
paper will also analyze the scientific evidence on memory reduction with age and provide a
conclusion on the problem because many elderly people endure the effects of memory loss but
rarely do they seek medical attention. However, the elderly recognize the problem of memory
loss and the health needs they have due to this problem. This paper will thus be important in
addressing the loss of memory in the elderly with the objective of identifying the types of
memory affected and the health-related needs of the elderly associated with memory loss.



Literature Review

Memory loss is one of the complaints which is very common among the elderly and thus
the research on the reduction of memory function with age is motivated by both practical and
theoretical considerations (Healey and Kahana, 2016). This section will review the main
empirical findings in the elderly and memory loss with specific emphasis on current work. This
begins by providing a summary of the four major theoretical approaches which explains about
memory loss and aging. The major theoretical approaches include decreased cognitive control,
age-related inhibitory deficits declined processing resources, and a reduced processing speed.
The loss of memory in the elderly is well documented and widely accepted (Koen and Yonelinas,
2014). The basic idea is that the reduction in the speed of memory performance underlies most of
the age-related cognitive deficits both directly and indirectly. Directly, the memory performance
behavior in the elderly is inefficient and slow while indirectly, the timing of a multiplex
sequence of memory performance is disrupted.
The age-related decrease in the performance of the memory is attributed to a generalized
age difference in the processing speed. Another viewpoint from the processing speed framework
also suggests that old age is accompanied by a reduction in attentional resources which facilitate
the cognitive processing (Healey and Kahana, 2016). This support that old-related memory loss
in attentional resources will affect the ability of the elderly to perform cognitive demanding
processes like the elaborative and deep encoding operations which facilitate the learning process
or retrieval of complex information. Another major framework for memory loss and aging
proposes that the elderly are less efficient when it comes to inhibiting the partially activated
representations (Mather and Harley, 2016). The inhibitory function is important in providing
control when accessing the working memory and thus restricting the access to information



relevant to perform a task. It also facilitates the deletion of information which is not relevant in
the working memory while still restraining the inappropriate responses. Since the elder...

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