Gedächtnisprobleme im Alter

Cognitive abilities encompass a variety of mental processes and functions that enable thinking, learning, remembering, and problem-solving. The most important cognitive abilities include:

  • Memory: The ability to store and retrieve information.
  • Attention: The ability to focus on specific stimuli or tasks.
  • Executive functions: Skills for planning, decision-making, and problem-solving.
  • Language: The ability to understand and use language.
  • Perception: The ability to interpret and understand sensory information.
  • Visuospatial skills: The ability to recognize and interpret spatial relationships between objects.

A slight impairment of cognitive abilities in older age (often referred to as Mild Cognitive Impairment, MCI) means there is a noticeable but not yet severely limiting deterioration in one or more of these areas. This can manifest in various forms, such as:

  • Memory problems: Difficulty remembering recent experiences or learned information.
  • Attention deficits: Problems concentrating on a task for extended periods or being easily distracted.
  • Impaired executive functions: Difficulty planning, organizing, and executing tasks or making decisions.
  • Language problems: Difficulty finding the right words or following conversations.
  • Perceptual disturbances: Difficulty interpreting sensory impressions or spatial orientation.

People with mild cognitive impairment are often still able to carry out their daily activities largely independently but notice that they require more effort or support than before. These impairments can be a precursor to more serious cognitive disorders such as dementia, but they do not necessarily lead to it. Regular medical monitoring and appropriate measures can help slow or manage the progression of symptoms.

In Germany, approximately 3.7 million people over the age of 65 are affected by mild cognitive impairments. Often, it begins with problems in orientation. According to the German Alzheimer Society, half of the affected individuals develop dementia within just 5 years!

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