Every time you forget something, do you worry about dementia?
When you start creeping up there in age, it’s easy to be a little nervous about memory loss. Losing your memory is like dying before you die.
Your memory doesn’t work quite as well as you age, but a little forgetfulness is no reason to worry about age dementia symptom.
Many things other than aging alone can cause memory problems.
- dementia (severe problems with memory and thinking, such as Alzheimer’s disease)
- side effects of drugs
- head injury
Alzheimer’s disease starts by changing your recent memory. If you have Alzheimer’s disease you might remember even small details of your past but not be able to remember recent events or conversations. Over time, the disease affects all parts of your memory.
Age dementia symptoms are certainly worrisome. They are more than normal aging.
First you want to rule out any of the issues above that might be contributing to your memory loss. Don’t assume the worst until you have addressed other possibilities.
Signs that are concerning:
- Repeating phrases or stories in the same conversation
- Trouble making choices or handling money
- Not being able to keep track of what happens each day
- Forgetting how to do things you’ve done many times before
- Forgetting how to get to a place you’ve been to often
- Forgetting things much more often than you used to
- Trouble learning new things or doing things that require steps (such as following a recipe)
Research suggests that the stress hormone cortisol plays a major role in dementia by increasing insulin levels. There is evidence that excess circulating insulin in the brain causes lesions similar to those believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
Which means that unmanaged stress makes you more likely to lose your memory.
You recognize stress in your life when it jumps up and bites you. However, there are major stressors that you might ignore until they sneak up and cause troublesome issues.
Spouse care givers of dementia patients are more likely than noncaregivers to be depressed, socially isolated, and neglect their own health.
If you are living with a heart breaking care giving situation, you need to be aware of the danger to your well being. It is important that you make a concentrated effort to plan self care and socialization.
When you see yourself withdraw from life, and stop doing things you love, be aware that your health depends on meeting your needs. If you don’t take care of you, you can’t maintain quality compassionate care giving.
As far as your memory is concerned, there are many things you can do on a regular basis to nurture yourself.
- Keep lists.
- Follow a routine.
- Make associations (connect things in your mind), such as using landmarks to help you find places.
- Keep a detailed calendar.
- Put important items, such as your keys, in the same place every time.
- Repeat names when you meet new people.
- Do things that keep your mind and body busy.
- Run through the ABC’s in your head to help you think of words you’re having trouble remembering. “Hearing” the first letter of a word may jog your memory.
Be gentle with yourself. You don’t want to cause yourself unnecessary stress!
Remember that the single most important thing that you can do to preserve your memory is to PLAN self care!
One resource I frequently recommend for stress is Heart Math. Have you heard of it?
Heart Math is YOUR personal resilience trainer!
Click on the link below and check out Heart Math.
Carrie Tucker, RCP
The Life Breath Coach
Heart Failure Solutions
PS– Remember everyday:
Relax and Release tension
Be active in a way that adds Joy to your life
Plus pure water ~whole foods~sunshine~and laughter