Posted by: Suzan | October 6, 2019

Aging Well

photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers

Do you dread walking up to someone you know at the gym, a social event, or maybe even at work? You can’t recall his/her name so you look for the closest place to hide. Ever found yourself wondering why you entered a room? You know there was a distinct purpose, now it’s not clear why you’re in there. What about when you’re in the thick of a conversation with someone and your “train derails.” You cannot recall what you just said. Maybe you find yourself playing charades in conversations–searching for common words that now escape you. Any of these scenarios sound familiar?

These periods of forgetfulness can be disturbing. The good news is they are not indicative of memory loss conditions such as Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, according to the National Institute on Aging. “More serious issues would involve: asking the same question over and over, getting lost in a familiar area like one’s neighborhood, not being able to follow instructions, and getting confused about time, people, and places. Also, memory loss is not the only symptom when someone has dementia. This individual would also show difficulty with language skills, visual perception, or paying attention. Dementia clearly interferes with one’s daily life and activities.”

The below chart is from The National Institute on Aging’s site to help people better distinguish between what is normal and what is not:graph agingHaving had a concussion earlier this year after a fall down a flight of stairs, brain health has become foremost in my life. Recently I discovered an important resource which you may find helpful. Their research recommends that anyone 50 and over get a brain health assessment annually. Dementia can show up 20 years beforehand and if people find out earlier, there are health and wellness practices and drug treatments which may delay the onset. There is a non-profit, Cogniciti, whose mission is to offer a brain health assessment to as many people over 50 as they can for a base-line assessment. Then they encourage each person to repeat it every 6 months to 1 year and will send out reminder emails with the link. These assessments are free. The test is also offered in-person at places like your local YMCA and they provide the computers.

If you’re interested you can go directly to their website: http://www.cogniciti.com and take the brain health assessment or look online to see when their in-person events are scheduled. They also have numerous resources on how to care for the aging brain.

It is never too early or too late to do what we can to reverse cognitive decline. Our brains need exercise as much as the rest of our bodies. Our brains need our love and attention as much as our hearts. Our brains help us to navigate our way through the world so they deserve our utmost attention.

 

quote choprah on memory and brain health

 

 


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