By J. Manuel Cordova, M. D.
Internal Medicine & Geriatric Specialist
Physical Changes in Aging - PART II
A New Year, a new opportunity to stay healthy. In the last issue, we wrote about the interrelationship between Aging and Memory. We need to be sure about memory problems to detect in time any other associated problems such as dementia disorders. We define dementia as a disorder characterized by impairment in two or more intellectual or cognitive functions, despite a state of clear consciousness.
The persistent and stable nature of the impairment distinguishes dementia from the altered consciousness and fluctuating deficits associated with a confusioned condition. The prevalence of dementia in a community population of over 65 years old is between 10% and 50%.
In a nursing home, more than 50% of the total patients have a dementia disorder. The most common diseases causing dementia are Alzheimer´s disease and cerebrovascular accidents.
Sharpening Your Memory: These tips may help enhance Your Memory capacity:
Get organized: Manage daily activities with a routine. Wind the grandfather clock every Sunday after breakfast.
Use lists: Don’t bother to memorize things you can list on paper--for example birthdays and grocery lists.
Nudge the numbers: Find ways to cue your memory. If your wedding anniversary is September 5, think, “We did not have five minutes alone until our honeymoon.”
Make associations: When driving, look for landmarks and repeat, Clark’s house, Central School, etc. Next time you will remember to turn there to reach your friend´s house.
Practice: Practice paying attention. When you are introduced to someone, listen carefully and repeat the person’s name: How do you do, Ann. Repeat the name in the ensuing conversation. At parties, take an inventory of people you see. Rehearse names in your mind.
Try not to worry: Fretting about memory can lead to more forgetfulness, especially if you are tired or under any form of stress.
Prevention of Faulty Memory:
1. Maintain control of the blood pressure.
2. Do not smoke.
3. Maintain control of your Glucose (Sugar ) levels, if you are Diabetic.
4. Mental exercise. Any form such as chess, reading, attending lectures and plays, movies, etc.
5. Outside exercise.
6. Try to combat depression. One of the most important factors.
7. Stay healthy. Obviously!