chapter  15
12 Pages

Memory training for older adults

Memory functioning does change as one ages. Deficits in secondary / effortful functioning have been documented in a variety of studies. The reasons for these defieits have been the foei of a substantial body of research. Most pertinent to the topic of memory training have been the studies which have examined information-processing skills among older adults. The gist of this research is that elder's tend not to use the most efficient or effective memory skills (POOD et af., 1980). For example, age differences on free recall tasks are usually larger than on recognition tasks. An example of a free-recall task is recalling a list of items without reference or cues, while a recognition task would be recognizing the items on the list from aseries of distractor items. The differences in free recall and recognition suggest that storage of information has occurred but that retrieval strategies are not optimal. These and similar findings are the basis of the skills taught in most memory-skills training programmes for older adults.