A force to be reckoned with…and I mean Pat, not the dementia. Kudo’s to Pat Summitt for coming forward and sharing her story. Anyone that has dementia or has been involved with those suffering from this diagnosis is aware of the changes it brings to your life and that of your family. However, strength can be garnered by the support of family and friends as Coach Summitt and her team will show us this season…
Category Archives: Mental Exercise
As soon as we notice memory problems, especially with our aging parents, we fearfully wonder: “Could it be Alzheimer’s?”
Let’s get clear on what Alzheimer’s is and isn’t.
Dementia is the deterioration of our cognitive abilities. There are many causes for dementia, and it can be progressive or stable. It targets the mental functions of the brain, like memory, orientation, problem solving and attention. Unlike Alzheimer’s, dementia is not a disease and it has a variety of causes.
Dementia is caused by various diseases or conditions with symptoms that may include changes in personality, mood and behavior. In some cases, the dementia can be treated and cured because the cause is treatable, as in dementia caused by substance abuse, the improper mixing of prescription medications and hormone or vitamin imbalances.
For more of this article see the Foxboro PATCH…
Social media is ‘booming’ in all markets so when I hear talk about social media use by “seniors”, I would ask what is a ‘senior’. It used to be that people aged 65 and older were automatically classified as seniors because that was the age at which most people retired. Today, not all people over age 65 want to be called seniors…heck most of us cringe when we receive the AARP card at 50! (anyway I did)
According to a Pew Research Center article Older Adults and Social Media, social networking use among people age 50 and older nearly doubled in the last year, up to 42% in 2010.
The point to this article is that recently someone said (to me) that persons in their 50’s (seniors) are not very tech savvy. I was floored, first because I fell into that age category and secondly because I do not think of myself as a senior.
We all hope never to endure having our minds slowly diminished and devoured by dementia, but the odds of that are worse than you might know. In fact, there’s about a 40% chance that your brain will self-destruct while you’re in your 80s. Your chances of developing dementia increase steadily every year.
Almost 13% of those aged 65 and older already have Alzheimer’s disease, which is only one of many forms of dementia. As the Baby Boomers age, the number will increase astronomically.
This coming, unprecedented surge threatens to overwhelm individuals, families, medical systems and budgets. Years ago, we undertook a massive research campaign for HIV/AIDS, successfully developing treatment and prevention strategies. If we are to avert the looming catastrophe posed by dementia, we must increase research funding for it in the same way.
At the peak of the AIDS epidemic, 600,000 to 900,000 Americans had the disease. Now, more than 5.4 million Americans are known to be living with Alzheimer’s. Many more dementia sufferers go undiagnosed, and Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in our country.
Remember the good old days when your mind was as sharp as a tack and you could remember the phone numbers of multiple people with no effort at all… when an important date never slipped by you?
Don’t fret … Health experts suggest that the mere fact that we notice our forgetfulness is probably a good indication that we aren’t really in serious trouble. The problem comes not when we misplace a library book, but when we can’t remember how to find the library to return it!
Knowing that occasional lapses in memory are not usually serious, doesn’t help us feel better when we experience them, so what can we do? Just as our bodies need physical exercise to keep us limber, our mental faculties also need exercise to remain sharp. There are countless ways to give your mind a workout; most of them costing nothing but a small investment of time each day. Select several…practice for a few weeks, and see if your ability to remember things, as well as your enthusiasm for life, doesn’t improve dramatically.
1. Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and eat well.
2. If you are depressed, talk to your doctor. People who maintain a positive outlook on life are less likely to suffer from lapses of memory.
3. If you smoke, stop. If you drink, do so in moderation.
4. Join a club or organization where you interact with other people. Discussion groups do wonders to stimulate even the most sluggish minds.
5. Get curious. Choose a subject each week and find out everything you can about that subject.
6. Every day…start by writing a short story…just a few paragraphs or so about something interesting you did…or want to do.
7. When someone calls on the telephone, try to guess who it is before they identify themselves.
8. Read the daily newspaper, and try to share information from one or two of the articles with a friend.
9. After a visit with someone, review the conversation in your head.
10. When you finish a chapter in a book, write a one or two sentence summary of it.
11. Do crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, cards.
12. Memorize a short poem
13. Pick up an old math book and try doing the problems in it. Work your way up to more and more difficult examples.
14. Pick up a book of simple riddles or word games from your bookstore.
15. Read, read, and read some more