We (young and old) forget things and make silly mistakes. When this happens to an older adult, they are frequently put in to the “Alzheimer’s” category. To find out more information, I visited Alzheimer’s Association website (alz.org); and below is what they had to say.
Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking or reasoning skills.
Below are 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s compared to just typical age-related changes that happen to us all:
1. Alzheimer’s sign: memory Loss that disrupts daily life. Typical age-related change: sometimes just forgetting names and appointments, but remembering them later.
2. Alzheimer’s sign: challenges in planning or solving problems. Typical age related change: making the occasional error when balancing a checkbook.
3. Alzheimer’s sign: difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work, or play. Typical age-related change: occasionally needing help to use settings on the microwave.
4. Alzheimer’s sign: confusion with time or place. Typical age-related change: confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.
5. Alzheimer’s sign: trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Typical age-related change: vision changes due to cataracts.
6. Alzheimer’s sign: new problems with words in speaking or writing. Typical age related change: sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
7. Alzheimer’s sign: misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. Typical age related change: misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.
8. Alzheimer’s sign: decreased or poor judgment. Typical age related change: making a bad decision once in a while.
9. Alzheimer’s sign: withdrawal from work or social engagements. Typical age related change: sometimes feeling weary of work, family, and social obligations
10. Alzheimer’s sign: changes in mood or personality. Typical age related change: developing specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when the routine is disrupted.
What can one do to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s: regular exercise may help prevent Alzheimer’s. Exercise keeps blood flowing to the brain and encourages the development of new brain cells. The best types of exercise are aerobic activities like walking, biking – even gardening. The Alzheimer’s Association suggests 30 minutes of this type of exercise per day to get the body moving and the heart pumping.
In addition to exercise, studies are now showing that what and how you eat, along with how you move as stated above have a huge impact on preventing Alzheimer’s in the first place, or slowing its progression. Eating a rainbow of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables releases phytonutrients containing antioxidants that go after free radicals throughout the body, and the dark colored fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, grapes and elderberries specifically help with cardiovascular health and memory. Certainly it is a challenge to consume the recommended 9-13 servings per day of “the rainbow,” but there are whole food supplement sources that are backed by published, 3rd party, independent university studies that demonstrate the specific power of food to help. For more information, call Ali 256-468-9425.
By: Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.