I wanted to understand how I could perhaps better recognize, prepare, and hopefully avoid the fate of my parent’s who both were diagnosed with different forms of dementia. One of the best things I did was to go through the Total Brain Health Certification. I met the founder Dr. Cynthia Green when we both appeared on The Dr. Oz Show. Her book Total Memory Workout is a great primer on simple ways to maintain brain health and boost your memory.
The reality is that the common belief that “forgetfulness” is a normal sign of aging is false. Our brain processing slows down usually starting in our 50’s but the inability to recall information or short-term memory loss are signs of disease, not a typical reality of aging. But A LOT of people believe it and tell themselves it is normal.
If you understand how your brain ages, as well as how some of the changes in our brains actually make us MORE trusting (and why older adults are easier targets for fraud), you will be better able to plan and put systems in place to safely live well.
If you start to notice changes, you can then talk with your doctor. There are many things you can do if you catch issues early and some of them are entirely reversible.
If you have a loved one who is showing signs of memory loss, I hope you will raise the issue with them. I certainly tried with my parents. My Dad was open to pursue testing and investigate while my Mom shut down the idea that something was amiss. It took several years and many doctors before we found someone who would help us understand what was happening to our parents. Unfortunately, it was too late to do anything … and maybe there was nothing to be done. However, it would have helped if we could have talked through their wishes knowing a diagnosis of memory loss was made.
In the case of your brain health, knowing will afford you a lot more options. Recommended.
Here are a few articles to get you started:
Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability: An Emerging Public Health Issue Annals of Internal Medicine Annals of Internal Medicine – December 1, 2015
Supplements for Brain Health Show No Benefit – a Neurologist Explains a New Study The National Interest – June 28, 2019
Why It’s Easier to Scam the Elderly NPR – December 6, 2012