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Is it normal to forget names as you age?

David A. Merrill, MD
Psychiatry
Things that are hard to remember with normal aging are names, especially new names that you're trying to learn, or details of recent events (the spontaneous recall of recent events declines with aging). As you get older, for example, you might have trouble remembering where you parked your car at the mall, which was the exact spot or which floor of the parking lot it was on. That’s considered normal. If you were to completely forget that you’d driven to the mall, then that would be considered abnormal.

The deficits in memory with normal aging are relatively small -- about 10% per decade. Recognition also generally remains stable.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.