Chances are, you’ve started to think “Why does time go faster as we get older?” You may hear your elderly parents or friends say that or you may be experiencing that feeling yourself.
But why? Why does time seem to go faster as we get older?
There are several reasons that probably come into play, but one of the most accepted reasons is the ratio of time. When you were 10 years old, for example, that 10 year span represented 100 percent of your life. By the time you reached 20, 10 years was 50 percent; by age 50, a decade was 20 percent of the time. We think of each decade as just another decade, but the ratio of how long a point in time is then affects how we perceive the passage of time.
Another reason time seems to speed up for the elderly is that with fewer new experiences, our brain feels a void in new learning or enrichments. It leaves the impression that time is going faster because there are fewer memorable events. That makes it even more important to plan events or field trips for enrichment for elderly adults.
As young and middle-aged adults, we often have work or a list of chores to do. Those help fill our days and make it feel like time goes by faster. Senior adults have fewer “firsts” that they are working to achieve such as graduation, marriage, purchasing a home, a promotion at work, and so on. Those milestones give younger adults something to think about and plan for; in the absence of those goals, time feels like it moves faster.
The aging brain may also process things more slowly. A Psychology Today article likens it to a slow-motion camera, which captures more frames per second than a camera at regular speed. However, when the film is played back, it’s actually in slow motion.
As time passes, older adults may have more trouble remembering recent events, when to take medication, or begin to have signs of dementia. If your parent or family member needs help with the activities of daily life, medication management, and assistance with meals, housekeeping and laundry, the staff at BeeHive Home Care offer in-home assisted living care in many New Mexico communities. If we can be of help or provide referrals to services, please let us know.