Types of Normal Memory Lapses

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Normal Memory Lapse Types

Memory lapses in senior adults can be worrying because many people attribute memory loss in the golden years to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. However, Philadelphia Alzheimer’s care provider, Home Care Assistance, wants to assure concerned families that not all types of memory loss are indicative of serious cognitive conditions. Here are a few types of normal memory lapses:


Fade out or transience refers to forgetting facts or events over time. The human brain follows a “use it or lose it” approach, meaning memories that are not used or recalled are eventually forgotten completely to make way for newer and more useful memories.


Absent-mindedness usually occurs due to lack of attention when carrying out an activity. In the elderly, it usually involves forgetting to do certain daily activities such as taking medication at the right time and misplacing objects.

Memory Blocking

Memory blocking refers to the temporary inability to retrieve a specific memory due to interference from a similar memory. One of the most common examples of blocking is having the answer to a question, but being unable to retrieve and express the answer.


Sometimes, one can mistakenly believe the originality of an idea they have as theirs, but in reality, they had read or heard about it somewhere and forgotten. One of the most common scenarios of misattribution is unintentional plagiarism.

Memory Retrieval

Reduced memory retrieval capacity in elderly people can cause them to be unable to remember the name of someone they met recently. If new information is not repeated, it will be removed from short-term memory faster.

Muddled Multitasking

Elderly people face a reduction in the number of activities they can carry out effectively at a time. Consequently, with age, the brain exerts much higher effort in maintaining focus on an activity. Once focus has been broken, a longer period is taken to get back to the task at hand.

If you are concerned about a senior loved one’s memory or mental health, call (215) 645-4663 and speak to a professional Care Manager from Home Care Assistance. Along with being a trusted provider of home care Philadelphia families trust, our clients have access to our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method which promotes cognitive and brain health. Schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation for more information today.


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