Senior Moment Concern? When It’s Time to See the Doctor

by | Jul 21, 2014 | Senior Care

What is a “Senior Moment?”
Most people regardless of age have experienced a sudden memory lapse. Have you ever gone into a room and forgotten why you went there? Have you ever searched for something (sunglasses, keys, a pen, etc.) and found it to be in plain sight? While it is always frustrating, it maybe more alarming for some them others. Generally the older we get, the more concerning these moments become. The possibility of having Alzheimer’s disease is usually the main cause for senior moment concern.

What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia and is described as a progressive disease destroying memory and other mental functions. In this particular form of dementia, brain cells degenerate, as do the connections between them.

Who is at Risk?
The greatest risk factor for disease is increasing age. Therefore, everyone is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s as they age. Other factors that may contribute to an increase risk are traumatic head injuries, genetic factors, and heart disease. Keeping your heart healthy is something YOU have control over: do not smoke, eat a healthy diet, maintain regular cardiovascular exercise and stay in a healthy weight range.

When should I see my doctor?
Unfortunately, presently there is not a known medical cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The good news is that it can be caught early, and in some cases even before the onset of clinical signs. While there may not be a medical cure, there are medications and treatments that can help alleviate symptoms. In addition, there is new research suggesting diet and excersie may play a key role in prevention.

What can I do?
The current research is seeing a link between diet and exercise with a delay in disease progression. So what can you do? Here are four suggestions to help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s:

  1. Maintain regular exercise
  2. Choose a heart healthy diet
  3. Stay socially engaged
  4. Continue to challenge yourself intellectually – less TV and more reading, puzzles, etc.

New programs are being developed to help people at higher risks. They teach memory compensation strategies that work to optimize daily function.

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