Health Topics

Memory Lapses When you are Busy, Busy, Busy

Do you find you have enough spare time to either take a break, do something fun or get caught up on one of your projects?

Kathryn Kilpatrick offers suggestions for lifelong learning and successful aging. As a speech-language pathologist with over four decades of experience working with older adults, Kathryn Kilpatrick specializes in working with older adults and their families facing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. In the last decade people of all ages seem to be complaining about their memory.

Have you noticed that your memory is not what it used to be? Join the many people, both young and old, complaining about forgetting something or trying to figure what they were just doing. There is no quick fix for improving your memory. Like losing weight, you need to be aware of what will help in your particular situation then make a conscious effort to work your plan.

Memory Lapses

Do you find you have enough spare time to either:

  1. Take a break?
  2. Do something fun?
  3. Get caught up on one of your projects?

You may have the best intentions and then something comes up and all of a sudden you are trying to figure out how to fit it all into your schedule. Recently, I had an unexpected opportunity that has occupied more time than I had in a day. As a result, there have been few spaces to even do some of the essentials once I did my day job and worked on these important projects. Some mistakes were made and more than a few things had to be totally put aside. It was important and thankfully it is finally all coming together.


Notice what happens to your stress level as you do two things at once or jump from one thing to another. When the sense of calm and balance leaves you, it is important to step back for a moment. The one thing I tried to do was to take a “brain break” doing something I love when my mind was too cluttered to be effective. It helped me to bring balance back to overload. You cannot function effectively or be creative without those “time outs” since stress will impact the following:

  • Focus
  • Attention
  • Ability to recall information

Memory Basic To Do:

Think back to a time when you felt a huge time crunch. Maybe it was an upcoming special event or an emergency that had you going in circles trying to manage everything. Next time be more aware and notice if you need to step back, setting aside some time even if it is only a few minutes for just you. Unplug from everything and find something relaxing to do or do nothing at all. Taking care of yourself needs to be on your “to do” list.

Consider this:

  • Going somewhere? Leave a half hour earlier than you need to.
  • Slow your pace and just notice. Were you comfortable taking your time?
  • What do you see? Seeing anything different?
  • Just be in the present moment. Breathe.

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters and Communication Connection. She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.