Is It Harder To Learn As You Age?

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Cheryl Torrie, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. Cheryl Torrie

    Cheryl Torrie Member
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    Or is it just me?
    I have been wondering if it's my age that keeps me from exploring and mastering new subjects and methods or if it's just stubbornness or even fear. I love learning, don't get me wrong, but I find myself doing a lot of things in my old tried and true methods even when I learn a quicker and possibly more accurate way to do it. For instance, I attended a trade school to learn computer software languages and basic computer repair but I am still working in bookkeeping and I rarely write my own programs or even customize the ones I use. Have you ever considered all of the knowledge you have and don't use and wondered why?
     
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  2. Brittany Houser

    Brittany Houser Well-Known Member
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    Yes I have. I find it so much harder to learn now than even 10 years ago. It's not that we've necessarily lost our intellect. I can follow logical thought, and reason with the best of them. My problem is my short term memory is at an all time low. That's why I have trouble adding to the knowledge base I already have. It's terribly frustrating at times!
     
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  3. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Veteran Member
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    I find I don't concentrate as well as I used to, *sigh*
     
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  4. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    I am proud to say that I am a quick learner, or should I say USED TO BE a quick learner. When I hit 40, I have noticed that my concentration is not that strong anymore. There are times that I would ask a question twice in one seminar. For a consolation, my husband said that I may have so many things on my mind such that I become forgetful at times. Maybe he is right and that's what I want to think. But somehow, it is noticeable that my mind is not that sharp anymore.
     
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  5. Terry Page

    Terry Page Veteran Member
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    I guess we are all different in the way our mind/brain seems to age, I know some people who are over 90 and their mind and memory are razor sharp, others who have trouble with anything that demands thinking at all.

    I do believe in the adage "use it or lose it" and exercise my mind by using it as much as possible, maybe to the point of exhaustion in my case :rolleyes:
    I do find I have deteriorated in some areas such as spelling and remembering names and other facts. Yes and poor concentration at times as others have mentioned.
    Regarding learning I somehow have a resistance to learning something new and find it difficult to even contemplate it. It's as though my mind has become tired and just wants to relax and chill out. :cool:
     
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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  6. Will Lawrence

    Will Lawrence Well-Known Member
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    No matter hold old or how educated, a day is lost if you don't learn something new!!!

    I believe the definition of "learning" can take on a number of meanings. We tend to jump to the conclusion that learning has to be something directly tied to "textbook" type subjects. It's not!!! As we age, we have so much more to learn each day. Has anyone attempted to weed through the 'maze of Medicare'??? Plan F or Plan C or.... What did my doctor just tell me? I have to take how many of which pills today? Henrietta just was diagnosed with **************. What the heck is that and how can I help her? The grandkids have some students in their classroom from *******. Are they safe? Where is that country and what to they believe?

    We have so much to occupy our minds as "seniors". We DO learn new things each day. It may not be geometric functions or thermodynamic impacts of climate change. We learn new things that are required for us to continue to function in the unknown that will beset us tomorrow.

    We're "slower"?? Gosh, I hate to use that term. Our minds may not be quite as quick to pick up new things. Yet, most of us began this life with phones hanging on the wall, slide rules, typewriters, and hand-written long homework assignments. We've had to learn how to exist in a computer driven culture. We've had to learn to use laptops, tablets, smartphones. We've had to learn e-mail, texting, and... yes... on-line discussion boards.

    Our minds are full. Yet, every day we push something else in there. If we don't we fail. If we choose not to learn... to adapt to a forward moving society we lose.

    Sorry for the long post. I just so firmly believe that most of us seniors do learn. We will see some in our age group who simply refuse to. That's their loss.
     
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  7. Terry Page

    Terry Page Veteran Member
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    I agree with all you say here Will, its a question of being open to change and adapting to the ever changing world, this especially applies to technology and I find that relatively easy to pick up because of my background in electronics.
    I never even think of textbook learning nowadays as I feel the need to be able to directly use all I learn, any other extraneous knowledge I see as pointless at my age, I would forget it quickly anyway.
    I guess we are all different and there are many ways to exercise our minds, the main thing is to do something.
     
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  8. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    MY Memory is shot.., it worries me. I can read something now, and have forgotten it in a few minutes...sometimes seconds...and I have to go back and re-read again, sometimes several times. ..but like your husband Corrie, my o/h says the same thing, that I have so much going on in my head that there's not room for more, but of course that's just to placate me and we both know that's nonsense..

    Brittany, I understand how you feel, I'm younger than you...and the ability to retain information is affecting me just as much, even tho' I do try to keep my brain as exercised as possible...so I don't know what's going on, but it does concern me a lot!!
     
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  9. Ken N Louis

    Ken N Louis Very Well-Known Member
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    I have forgot Algebra and Geometry why it was so important in the first place I will never understand!!
     
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  10. Terry Page

    Terry Page Veteran Member
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    I go with your husband it's probably all down to stress Holly, I have experienced really bad short term memory loss when I was going through a stressful time, just like you I forgot what I had just read, I noticed this when in my 30s so it's not age. I am now living a much more relaxed lifestyle and my short term memory is very good, at 74. Both my daughters in their early 40s suffer the same memory loss when their work is particularly stressful.
    If you look at your life now Holly, you have worries about scan results and lots of other medical issues regarding your ongoing back problems, plus your workload and I suspect other stuff as well.
    It's hardly surprising you have memory problems. There is a lot of research into all this but even Wikipedia is very complex in it's information, but when you are stressed or worried your body goes into survival mode and will focus on the essentials so some memory areas are shut down.
    The solution is to relax and not worry, but how you do that is not an easy one to answer.

    PS: Some prescription drugs can cause it as well
     
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  11. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Funny thing Ken is I haven't forgotten any of that..I can do algebra, and geometry just as well if not better than when I was young...and everything I ever learned when I was young I retain still...it's my recent and short term memory that is the problem..and although I learn new things every day I find it very difficult memorise them ... so I have to write everything down , particularly at work!!
     
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  12. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    ooooh thank you for that Terry, you've described my situation in a nutshell...and I have to say your post has put my mind at rest a little bit ...I do try and not to worry about it, but my mind won't let me , so I'm caught between a rock and a hard place...however, thank you so much for that, I really mean it... it certainly has given me food for thought...


    whether I'll remember it in 5 minutes time is another question...LOL>>> o_O;):D
     
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  13. Terry Page

    Terry Page Veteran Member
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    I guess as long as you remember who your husband is and where you live you should be ok ;)
     
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  14. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    LOL...sometimes I'd like to forget both.....kidding...I think....;)
     
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  15. Terry Page

    Terry Page Veteran Member
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    I have forgotten 99% of what I learned at school :rolleyes:, but I guess your school education is more about training your mind to think in certain ways, and develop patterns of absorbing knowledge. I have always felt though that they could teach you a lot more useful things like how to manage your finances and your relationships and lots of other real life stuff.
     
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