Q: I am worried about my memory. I frequently misplace things and become so frustrated. Should I get this checked out? How can I improve my memory?
A: This is a common understandable fear. As we get older our ability to recall can be slower and misplacing things can happen. Are you able to retrace your steps to seek and find your object? Are you finding the objects in odd places? For example keys in the sugar bowl, or iron in the freezer? If you are finding the objects in odd places, yes, you should have it checked out. There many things that can affect your memory. Start by keeping a diary/journal of changes you are noticing and let your doctor know about them.
Be persistent with your concern. Be aware that there is no one test that will tell you that you have Alzheimer’s. Most physicians can almost always tell you if you have dementia but the exact cause of it will be challenging. A thorough medical exam, mental status testing, a physical and neurological exam and test such as brain imaging and blood drawn are done to determine causes of Alzheimer’s or other dementia conditions. Many health issues can cause problems with memory and thinking. And many of these health issues once treated can reverse the symptoms of dementia. If your primary doctor is not finding any concern, and you know something is not right, ask your doctor if he/she can refer you to a specialist.
Stress has been noted to be a major factor with memory and thinking problems. Do not allow stress to be untreated. Get help on managing and eliminating stress! Ignored stress is your biggest enemy. The fact that stress is 85% cause of all illness and disease should be a wake-up call to us. But this is still overlooked by many. Chronic subtle stress, poor diet and poor spirituality/faith are hindering our ability to heal properly. Our bodies and heart are crying for us to heal. Pay attention to what the body is telling you. Treat yourself well. Learn to laugh more.
There are many things you can do to improve your memory. Cross over exercise, diet change by decreasing your intake of added sugar to start, finding out if you are deficient in nutrients or/and vitamins. Play board games with your family, like checkers or chess, candy land, topple, puzzles, and I will emphasize that playing them with family or friends as some of these I know you can do on line and that will work to some extent, but from my experience, it is the interaction and joy of sharing with another human soul that I have found to be a key factor in building memory.
Q: My uncle picks up everything and destroys it or puts it in his mouth! Is there anything I can do to stop him from doing this?
A: Your uncle seems to be at the explorer stage in the disease. He is on sensory mode. His brain is trying to make sense of what he sees and he is doing the best he can. Give him something useful to do. Make it relate to what he likes or use to do for work. For example if he like to fix things, give him pv pipes to connect together and pull apart. Tell him you need his help. When you are taking things from him, give him something to replace what you took away.
I know this is a lot of work at this stage. You may need a break. Ask someone in the family or a friend to come and be with him for an hour to allow you a nap or just do nothing. If you can get a break weekly this would be wonderful.
A little Laughter – Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, “How old was your husband?” “98,” she replied. “Two years older than me.” “So you’re 96,” the undertaker commented. She responded, “Hardly worth going home, is it?
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