According to the Caregiver Resource Center, changes that are a normal part of aging, as distinguished from disease, start as early as age 30 and loss of functioning continues at a rate of 1 percent per year after that. According to the Merck Manual, a mild decline in mental function is considered normal. This includes difficulty in learning new languages, decreased attention span and short-term memory. There is an effect on selective attention, the ability to focus on specific information while ignoring irrelevant information. This would be important for tasks, such as having a conversation in a noisy environment or driving a car. Research has shown that concept formation, abstraction and mental flexibility decline with age. In addition,processing speed and reaction time is slower. Dementia involves a more severe decline than it is found in normal aging.
45 minValid for 12 monthsCreated 2019-12-18Updated 2020-05-20