A Proactive Approach to Dealing with Forgetfulness

February 2, 2024 at 7:44 a.m.

Mental health experts recommend a variety of techniques to cope with changes in memory and mental skills. They include learning a new skill, following a daily routine and using memory tools such as calendars and notes. They also recommend staying  involved in activities that can help both the mind and body. Volunteering in your community, at a school, or at your place of worship can be highly beneficial. Spending time with friends and family and getting enough sleep (generally seven to eight hours each night). Exercising and eating well are paramount.

Some older adults have a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI) meaning they have more memory or thinking problems than other people their age. People with MCI can usually take care of themselves and are able to carry out their day-to-day tasks. MCI may be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease, but not everyone with MCI will develop Alzheimer’s.

Currently there are no drugs or lifestyle approaches that can prevent Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. In the meantime, generally leading a healthy lifestyle, including controlling high blood pressure, being physically active, and making healthy dietary choices, can help reduce your risk of many chronic health conditions and may help reduce your risk of dementia.

John Schieszer is an award-winning national journalist and radio and podcast broadcaster of The Medical Minute. He can be reached at medicalminutes@gmail.com. 
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