I've been having this problem with my Mac Mini as well. I'm running with 10 gigs ran and just recently Secure wiped the entire disk and started over. Do you have this problem with safari? With the most recent glitchiness I have decided to try out Safari and it runs a whole lot smoother over there compared to Chrome.
Also are you using a disk drive or a solid-state drive in your Mac? I have a disk drive and I believe that's one reason why the Applications have been running a lot slower because whenever chrome is open it will attempt to cache its way all the way through your RAM no matter how much you have (recently I saw a complaint in a forum showing chrome had taken up 56 GB of their Mac pros ram). When chrome does this, you end up getting pushed into the swap area on your disk where disk drives really do struggle.
My guess for MS Word: Now that most of the modern machines or using solid-state drives, Developers are starting to safely assume that the user most likely will be using this as well and start sending resources back to the hard drive instead of RAM so they have more room to work with. This new method slows everything down as well if you're using a disk drive.