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Orlando, Fla. —We all know time affects your body, including your brain.  After the age of 60 we might experience a lack of flexibility, strength and speed. It is important to try continue to do all the things that make you, YOU, so:

  • socialize,
  • stay active and get exercise as much as possible,
  • eat well,
  • sleep enough

Think of your brain like a muscle — if you don’t keep it active it will lose its strength. The connections between brain cells that make and pull up memories, change as we age.

It is highly recommendable, to play games like crosswords and Sudoku, read books and magazines, to keep it active in fun and entertaining ways. Do projects that take planning, like quilting or a garden.

You may also consider to learn a foreign language or a new instrument.

The proteins and hormones that do upkeep in our brains don’t work as well. As we get older, it’s good to know the difference between typical forgetfulness and something you probably should mention to your doctor.

Lots of things can cause memory problems. People often worry about Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. That’s one possibility, but other things can be behind it, and some of those can be reversed. For example, it could be a lack of B12, a vitamin that’s key for your brain, or depression, a thyroid problem, or even not drinking enough fluids.

You should see your doctor  if any of these warning signs sound familiar or it’s affecting your daily life — your work, hobbies, and relationships — go to your doctor. If someone close to you wants you to get checked out, chances are you might need medical assistance.

Skip or miss details

Typical: You forget to meet up with a friend but remember later on.

Warning: You miss appointments left and right and ask friends and family for details over and over again. You forget about events you went to recently or conversations you just had.

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Numbers don’t add up anymore?

Typical: You make a mistake balancing your checkbook every now and then (we all do, don’t we?).

Warning: If numbers feel like a foreign language, making it tough to follow a recipe or manage your household budget.

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Can’t recall the rules

Typical: You need help setting the clock on the microwave or recording your favorite show. You forget for a minute the rules of your favorite games.

Warning: You can’t work your stove. You forget the rules of games you’ve played or watched for decades.

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Forgot where you left things

Typical: You check your pockets, the kitchen table, your car. You go back over all your steps before, and finally find them.

Warning: You put things in odd places, like putting your phone in the freezer and/or you blame someone for stealing your things.

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Date

Typical: Once in a while you have to stop and think about what day it is, but it’ll come to you.

Warning: The whole idea of time is confusing. You get what’s happening now, but trying to think about something that happened last week or is coming up tomorrow leaves you feeling lost.

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How did I get here?

Typical: You stroll into the kitchen and can’t remember why, or you occasionally forget the street name when giving directions. It might take a beat or two, but you remember how to get to familiar places.

Warning: You can’t find your way home, get lost, or feel confused in places you know well.

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Can’t remember the name of your items

Typical: You forget the name of something. It’s on the tip of your tongue, but doesn’t come out on time.

Warning: You call things by the wrong name, sometimes really odd ones. ”Spoon” might come out “bed.” You stop in the middle of a sentence and have no idea of what you were saying. You have a hard time following conversations.

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Isolation

Typical: The mix of work, family, and social demands leaves you wiped out and craving down time, even from things you like.

Warning: You can’t keep up with things you normally follow. You try to get out of spending time with people to hide the problems you’re having.

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Forget other peoples names

Typical : You spaced on your friend’s name or you just called your grandson by your son’s name instead.

Warning: You actually can’t remember your son’s name.

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Lapses in self-care

Typical: Rushing out of the house without brushing your teeth.

Warning: When you don’t recall how to doit. You’re halfway through getting dressed and find yourself confused.

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Reality check

Typical: You’re concerned about your memory, but your family is not.

Warning: Your family’s worried about you, but you don’t know what they’re talking about. High alert if you’re not aware that it’s happening.

 

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