At our age, its common to worry when you can’t remember a name or you can’t find that word on the tip of your tongue. When that happens, I often ask myself, is this just normal for my age? Or am I in the early stages of dementia? And then the more I worry, the more I seem to forget!
To relieve my anxiety, I found an article by Dr. Mike Davis who gives the following three examples demonstrating the distinctions between normal memory loss and dementia.1.) Misplacing keys is normal; forgetting what they are for is dementia. 2.) Forgetting a person's name is normal; but not remembering knowing the person is not. 3.) Forgetting to turn into a familiar street is normal; becoming easily disoriented or lost in familiar places for hours is not.”
Good. I don’t need to worry. I often misplace my keys, but I do know what they are for. I seem to have a harder time remembering names, but they eventually come to me. And when I’m in a hurry, there are times I do turn down the wrong street, but so far, I’ve always found my way home.
But then I read the next sentence. “These lines are distinct for most of us, BUT in early dementia patients, it can be tricky to tell.”
Now what the heck does that mean, tricky to tell? Could my forgetfulness seem normal, but because of some subtle signs, I could unknowingly be in the early stages of dementia? Should I still be worrying?
It does give me pause. But there is one sign that gives me hope. I figure as long as I can spell Alzheimer’s without looking it up, I’m okay.
If you want to learn more about brain health, join the Brain Fitness Club which returns at 1:00 on September 18th showing the online video series: How to Improve Your Brain Health.
In this series renowned neuroscientist, Dr. Wendy Suzuki, will show how the brain and memory works through a mix of personal stories and solid brain science. There will also be simple, specific activities to make your brain stronger and potentially even make your life better.
But why wait till then. Here are a few brain teasers to rattle your noggin’. I’ll share the answers next week.
1.) Which word in the dictionary is spelled incorrectly? 2.) A girl who was just learning to drive went down a one-way street in the wrong direction, but didn’t break the law. How is that possible? 3. Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out? 3.) Mom and Dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the family? 4) While some months have just 30 days, others have 31 days. How many months have 28 days? 5) How many times can you subtract 5 from 25?
And remember when challenging your brain, it is not so much getting the correct answer, as it is the effort you put into trying to solve the problems.
The name of the college Mike, Mark, Zonker, and B.D attended was Waldon College which was modeled after Yale - the school Gary Trudeau attended from 1966 through 1970. (I received correct entries from Bob and Sandy Haechrel who both win one half of a quilt raffle ticket.)
During my high school days in Indianapolis, I remember buying the Beach Boy’s “I Get Around” and dreaming I had a surf board on the top of my “Woodie” and was headed to the sandy ocean beaches – even though there wasn’t an ocean wave within a thousand miles. Today, Brian Wilson the genius behind the Beach Boys, at the age of 75 is on a world tour recreating on stage the sounds from their acclaimed eleventh studio album which included the hit “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of this Beach Boy album released in 1966 and ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the second greatest album of all time? Email your answer to email@example.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of goats being fed at the San Diego Zoo.
Well, it’s been another week, thinking that I think I can. Until we meet again, find time to add a little spark to your daily routine.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” Robert Frost