Aging and Alzheimer’s

forgetful woman

Misplaced car keys, forgotten appointments, can’t place that woman’s name – It’s very natural to be forgetful on occasion and yes, it does tend to occur more often as we age but how do we know when it may be serious, an indication of possible Alzheimer’s? Still somewhat of an enigma, we do know Alzheimer’s is an age related (usually after 65) disease affecting the brain and subsequently a person’s memory, ability to think and eventually their ability to perform daily tasks. Among the risk factors, there may be a hereditary component too – if someone in your family had it you may have a 5% increase in your risk of developing this disease. It results in a huge negative impact on the quality of life of the effected and is emotionally devastating for family members. It is also the 6th leading cause of death in North America with no known cure. There is good news though; this disease can be preventable through healthy lifestyle habits including no smoking.

Other key components to prevention include maintaining a healthy diet, physical activity (2-3x/week of aerobic AND strength training), and brain exercises to help “strengthen” or sharpen the mind and ward off Alzheimer’s.fight memory loss

  1. Keep Learning – new languages, courses, new hobbies
  2. Memorization – names, faces, dates, places, facts
  3. Puzzle Books – Sudoku, Word puzzles, Logic problems (try Lumosity (you can even get the phone app – my hubby and I are addicted)
  4. Describe – provide a detailed account of something in your day (assume the role of journalist and provide the 5 W’s and How)
  5. Mix it Up – Take different driving, walking, running, cycling route – make your brain work rather than go on autopilot
  6. Balance and Coordination – combine physical and mental exercises by doing agility drills requiring quick foot patterns, balance and hand/eye movementsolder women stretching

If you are concerned about your memory (or someone you know) try this Memory Quiz to determine if you’re just forgetful or may need to see a doctor.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.