Sunday, January 13, 2013

Alzheimer's: The Big "A" Word

     A few days ago I read a blog about keeping warm in the winter. I made the comment that "selective amnesia " helps me keep warm. The blogger is quick with a comeback and said, "Don't forget your coat."  I got a good chuckle from the reply. Then I stopped and thought that there was a very serious side to to the comment. People do forget their coat and go outside. Some of them are caught but unfortunately some are not found and perish. These are people with dementia. 

    Now before I go any further, I am not an expert on dementia. I follow two blogs which cover Alzheimer's from time to time and they are excellent.

    Today there was a column in our local paper in Alshiemer's so it really got me thinking. I am 73 years old and at an age when dementia is all to common. Seniors my age worry about dementia. We have seen relatives and friends deal with dementia and it's not a pretty sight. It's a challenge  for caregivers and is certainly difficult for the sufferer.

     The gist of the column today was that there's no cure or prevention for dementia, but there may be things we could do to possibly delay the onset of dementia or make it's progress less critical. Naturally I looked at the seven suggestions and considered how I stack up. Have I been living the right life?

    The first suggestion was to have been cognitively  active. Will my reading and  doing puzzles be any good for me? How about "free cell?

   Next, I've never been a person with high stress level . I was a middle school teacher and I did not let stress get to me.  I learned to deal with stress .

 I do stay connected with people. I volunteer and I like to visit.

   I don't have high blood pressure , diabetes obesity or high cholesterol. These things make it difficult to adapt to new situations.

    I am very active. Today I cross country skied for half an hour. After I finish this post I will go for a half hour walk.

    The one I have a problem with is concussion or repeated blows to the head. I've never had a concussion that I know of but I bang my head on things regularly. 

   So out of the six strategies I pass on five. The sixth I have problems with.

    Will this be enough to help me delay Alzheimer's? Will I be one of those people who get Alzheimer's?

    So we worry about dementia. It's common with about 750000 people in Canada with Alzheimer's. We can only hope that we do not get Alzheimer's.