Over the last 10 to 15 years, there seems to have been a real burst of products to swallow and games to play to try and strengthen our memory skills. Do they work? The Institute of Medicine has cautioned consumers to watch out for phony products or poorly tested products that claim to “prevent, slow, or reverse the effects of cognitive aging.”
What about exercise? Brain exercise is one thing, but what about overall body exercise? Several studies have shown that the more you exercise, the more you reduce the risk of developing dementia. Some studies suggest that high levels of exercise might reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30 to 40%. That’s significant.
Games, friendly conversations, food choices, and purposeful living all seem to help age-proof your brain, but physical exercise leads them all as far as effectiveness. And for many people, starting a mild exercise routine isn’t all that difficult. A simple daily walk can make a big difference. Check with your doctor and try getting more exercise.
Have you ever known an elder person who had a serious mental decline shortly after an injury that limited their mobility? I’ve seen this several times. In some cases there is no sign of dementia before the injury, and in other cases there is mild dementia, but the individual is coping well. Then, following the loss of mobility, there is a significant loss of mental ability.
I deal with dementia issues weekly whether it be for a client, the client’s spouse, or the client’s parent. It’s a complicated subject.
Aging well involves taking care of yourself. What about your legal documents? Do you have the right documents in place to allow others to care for you if the need arises? Make sure that you have an estate plan, and make sure that it’s up to date.