I found the article incredibly reassuring. Sure, I never know where my keys are, and if I park anywhere other than my "normal" spot, I worry that I won't find my car again. I keep telling myself that if dementia was the problem, I'd have way more trouble with my memory than that by now.
It was a good 20 years ago - maybe longer - that I grabbed the shopping cart away from the bag boy who was taking groceries out to my car because I had varied from my regular section of the parking lot and suddenly realized I had absolutely no idea where I had parked. Now I go to Walmart where they never take the groceries out for you so I could wander aimlessly in the parking lot for hours and no one would ever notice...but now that there's no bag boy to take my groceries out with me, I can always find my car.
Maybe it's the strength of the middle-aged brain.
A couple of interesting things from the article jumped out at me. One is that it's not a storage issue, but rather a matter of retrieval. For years I haven't made any effort to remember some things that I didn't consider to be brain-storage-worthy. (Things like the name of an acquaintance's 4th husband. Come on, I can't be wasting brain space with the name of a guy who is basically another interim husband, and who I'm not likely to ever see again.)
But now I find out that there's plenty of storage space in there. I just need to pay enough attention to actually commit the name to memory and then cross-reference what I store so I can find it again. They suggest going through the alphabet, which is actually a trick I've always used. It generally works, assuming I was paying enough attention to store the name in the first place.
The other thing in the article that I found interesting is that they have found that cognitive functions actually improve as we get older because we get better at seeing the whole picture. (Note to self: Mom was right again.)
An example they used is this: "Social expertise -- in other words, judging whether someone's a crook or not a crook, improves and peaks in middle age." I wonder if that's really the brain functioning better or if it's experience. Maybe it's a combination, but I would suspect we see the whole picture better because we've been there before. Something triggers a memory and allows us to put it all together, even if a piece or two might be missing. (Although it does say that this skill "peaks in middle age" which I guess explains why so many elderly people seem to fall prey to scams - it's a skill they've lost.)
Imagine myself taking it? I don't think so. If I imagine myself taking the medicine, I'm going to think I actually took it. Forget that. (No pun intended.) Get a pillbox with the days of the week. Sure, you'll feel like your grandmother, but you'll always know whether or not you've taken your calcium.
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. ~ Proverbs 16:31
The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. ~ Proverbs 20:29