Learn More > Older Persons and Neurogeriatrics
What is an Older Person? Is it the same as a Senior?
The amazing folks at Health In Aging answer that better than anyone! Read and/or download this wonderful brief from HIA.
What is Neurogeriatrics?
One simple way to understand Neurogeriatrics is via a Six Cognitive Skills Hierarchy, distilled below for clarity.
Neurocognitive capacity at its Maximum or Best Functioning is Level 1 or Executive Function intact. This level includes all capacities below it. It is also cumulative in nature.
Neurocognitive capacity at its Minimum or Lowest Functioning is Level 6 or only Arousal (etc.) intact. This level includes no capacities above it. As such, it is foundational for other functions to exist.
1. Executive Functions
2. Judgement and Insight
3. Reasoning and Organization
4. Problem Solving and Sequencing
5. Memory including Short Term and Long Term
6. Arousal, Alertness, Awareness, Attention
You might have noticed that Memory is one part of Neurogeriatrics. Look to the column at the right to learn about the many types of memory, all which impact our everyday life.
Types of Memory
Although it's not always easy to "remember to remember," four primary memory processes help us out, every day:
Long term memory (LTM) is a well-learned information store. It is considered essentially limitless. You see a lot more "LTM examples"on websites these days, such as when you're asked: Where were you born? What's your mother's maiden name? and, Who was your best friend growing up?
Short-term memory (STM, or Working Memory) is a scratch pad of sorts, it's information kept "in mind" roughly thirty-minutes to a day or two (though there is some disagreement about this). Cognitive scientists consider STM to be more complex and less understood than LTM; it continues to be an area of significant study, especially related to health and illness.
Immediate Memory is information held for the moment, such as looking up a phone number (e.g., 1-503-489-0907). Like STM, it's not as well understood, may in fact operate very differently than LTM and STM, but does have real implications for daily functioning.
Prospective Memory is remembering to remember to do something. Seems simple but increasingly difficult in our busy and chaotic world.