Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

Technology: Is It Helping Or Hurting Our Memories As We Age?

Brain Sand Timer

Nothing stays the same forever. Just take a look at technology: it is always changing. In the past several years, though, technology has done more than just change. It has become an integral part of our daily lives. It's everywhere we turn. From our computers and cell phones to alarm systems and even our coffee makers, it seems that everything has a password, pin number, or an abundance of information to share. That can be a great thing...but it can also be difficult to deal with, especially as we age. So, it's time to explore the idea of technology - and whether it is helping or hurting our memories.

There are plenty of advantages to using technology in our daily lives. All of those gadgets and gizmos can make it simpler to handle certain tasks or find out information. However, the mere fact that we rely on technology so heavily can be problematic, too. We are using our memories less and turning to calculators and web searches to give us the answers we're after. There is a growing feeling of: why remember it when I can just look it up later? This isn't necessarily a good thing, particularly in later life. Think of your memory as a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it will be.... but when you stop using it, even simple tasks can seem difficult.

Countless memory loss and dementia studies have found that exercises can help to improve memory. The more you challenge your brain, the better! Things like brainteasers, puzzles, learning new skills, or even changing up your routine have all been linked to better memory function as you age. That is why society's reliance on technology is a growing concern. If we aren't keeping our brains sharp and active, how can they be expected to hold up against age - or progressive brain diseases, like Alzheimer's? It is time to use technology in a positive way. How? By making the most of electronic devices.

Here is a little good news: it is possible for technology to help our memories, if used properly. It could be something like downloading a crossword puzzle app on your cell phone or doing some research on a totally new topic. The whole idea is to use technology as a tool to engage our minds rather than rely on technology to avoid remembering things. In addition to using technology to improve our memories, it can also be used to deal with the symptoms of memory loss in older age.

One of the most challenging aspects of memory loss is independence. People living with dementia will eventually rely on others for their day-to-day care. However, technology may be able to delay that from happening. Things like daily alarm reminders, online memory games, and checklists make it possible to remember the essentials (like taking medication, eating a meal, or going to a doctor's appointment). So, technology doesn't have to be a bad's all about how you use it.

Memory loss is a serious issue. With an ever-increasing reliance on technology and electronic devices, it is more important than ever to put thought into how we use it. Technology can be a life-altering tool for patients dealing with memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer's.