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athgarvan

Dementia

images4XO3P6FQBecause I now experience more and more difficulty with memory I have been reading articles on Dementia - I shudder at the thought of using the term "Alzheimer's". Am I being morbid?

I see my mind as "me".  My mind is my essence. It can be frightening to consider losing that self or having it impaired. I can't decide which is more frightening: to lose myself, or to be myself but not be able to show it.

I understand that in the early stages of dementia changes are slight and it is possible to continue to do lots of things. One may:

• forget things easily, repeat things frequently,
• experience problems with language, such as appearing to be stuck for words or losing track of a conversation,
• find new situations or places confusing,
• show poor judgement or find it hard to make decisions,
• lose interest in other people or activities,
• be unwilling to try new things,
• experience low mood, become anxious or withdrawn,
• feel easily frustrated or angry.

All of these I can identify in myself. How should I be reacting?

Comments

Probably see a doctor, but also, try out the following all of which have been shown to slow or halt mental decline:
* Regular aerobic exercise, walking is fine, but should be one or two hours at a stretch, not 15 minutes. At the very least a half hour a day.
* Weight lifting: doesn't need to be massive amounts of weight, but should require a moderate degree of effort.
* Learning a new language. Especially if you can manage to speak it regularly: join a class or a conversational group, or find a speaker of a language you don't know who lives nearby and will be happy to chat – shopkeepers of non-busy shops are an excellent option.
* Learning a new instrument, especially if it comes with learning to read music or to read more complex music.
* Being an engaged part of the community (you seem to be active in yours, so may already have a tick here!)
* Eating a healthy diet with low levels of sugars and moderate levels of healthy fats (too many people cut out healthy fats like olive oils and so on and their poor brains just sit there begging for some: no point having the tiniest bottom in the world with your noggin not working!)

One thing that a lot of research has shown is that members of religious orders who are physically suffering from dementia-causing diseases often show few signs of them. It's thought this is due to a combination of factors: they have an intellectually engaged existence with a sense of social commitment and a supportive community, along with an abstemious diet. It seems like a good plan to follow!
no point having the tiniest bottom in the world with your noggin not working

You, my friend, just won the internets for today :)