Many people believe that dementia is a normal part of aging. This is not the case. Not all older people become "senile" and in fact in many cultures, elders are the keepers of great wisdom. The reality is that some people will develop a cognitive disorder in later life while others will not.
While dementia is not a normal part of the aging process, some cognitive changes are part of normal aging. The most common change is the slowing or decline in the speed of processing information. This is evident when more time is given for a senior to answer a question or perform a task. It is not the lack of understanding actual information but the length of time it may take to process.
It is therefore important to remember that a senior most likely understands material as well as his younger counterpart, but may take longer to absorb its content. Seniors may need additional time or smaller chunks of information when being presented with new material.