As reported in the December 2014 journal Psychology and Aging, over 500 non-demented seniors participated in the so-called Berlin Aging Study. The subjects were 70-100 years old and were measured for memory performance 4 times over the course of 6 years. The researchers were measuring the complaints of the seniors about their memory verses their actual performance.
The study showed that memory complaints stayed consistent over the six year study.
The conclusion of the study was that the subjective memory complaints in the “oldest of the old” were only minimally linked to their actual memory performance or even changes in memory performance in later life. The oldest populations’ memory complaints were shown to be more clearly linked to mental health, personality, and attitudes about their aging than reality. This is actually pretty good news.