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Recall and Reaction in Aging

In addition to slower processing speeds, normal cognitive decline in seniors may show up in recall and reaction speed. Information seems to linger on the tip of your parent's tongue. The senior may know the answer to a question but cannot quite pull it out of his mental filing cabinet. Reaction time may be slowed.

This may have implications for performance on some activities that require quick decisions or changes in attention. One such activity is driving. The age-related cognitive decline should be mild and shouldn't interfere with day to day functioning.

Normal aging also may bring decline in vision and hearing abilities. A senior who has difficulty with seeing or hearing may also have resulting difficulty in learning information. This may appear as cognitive decline when it is in fact not. Whenever possible, the use of hearing aids or glasses should remedy these difficulties.