If you are saying, “Oh, I forgot” then get an Alzheimer’s Check!

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How to fight Alzheimer’s before it hits hard. by francy Dickinson

Dear Francy; It’s  me this week…I wanted to ask you all to really take note of your forgetfulness. If you find you are simply having more than simple ‘senior moments’ then get a memory check. Get a ‘Monty’ test from your doctor or memory clinic. This will give you a baseline of your memory and mind skills…so, as you go forward your doctor can see what changes are taking place. Everyone has moments of memory loss….but when it is more than a few…get checked!

If you think forgetting means “Alzheimer’s” and you are afraid to have anyone know, or to even know yourself ~ if you do have dementia in your life….re-think that decision!!!

Alzheimer’s is a combination of memory, cognitive skills, conversational skills, emotional responses and normal age changes…all rolled together. So, thinking that simple forgetfulness is your problem is only a tiny part of the Alzheimer’s family.

Low blood sugar and high blood sugar can really work on memory loss and confusion. So easy to control with proper diet routines, your blood sugar level is a quiet rumble in your life. You could be living with it everyday and not know….so get a blood sugar test…be in the know about your body. What if; just the way you eat….could change your mind’s health for the best? How easy is that fix?

Thyroid, boy, this is a problem that so many people have and so many people live without knowing it’s out-of-order. The thyroid can be low or high and your body will react in really nasty ways. Like gaining weight or causing other health problems to break-out as a result of faulty thyroid. To check your Thyroid you take your temp as you wake –in bed…in a resting position for three days in a row. If your temp is below the normal level let’s say 96 degrees…then you want to go into your doctor and talk about the thyroid. You will need to do a good deal of study about Thyroid if it is out of kilter…because ‘natural’ thyroid medications are essential to treating this condition properly. The thyroid can and will affect your emotions and your memory…so you need to check it if you find the signs are there. Do a few hours of work on the Internet and read about all the treatments around thyroid and get knowledgeable. Then write down your questions and go into the doctor with your questions in hand. That way…you are in-charge of your treatment and your lifestyle changes. The medication is not the only change you make with thyroid disorder, you have to make nutrition changes too…so be in the know.

Then there is stress…that will take your memory away from you for short or long periods of time. There is the low but constant stress…like what you would have if you were a teacher. You have the daily stress of children, class energy, noise and such…most teachers tune it out and do not think they are suffering from stress…but they are…and they often show it. Then there is the high stress…that is what I find I have giving care to my Georgie…never knowing when I will find him on the floor from a fall…or acting out in a highly emotional way. My day will be quiet and then the ultra stress hits. Stress is really important…so if you find that you are the middle of this type of lifestyle, you need to know that breathing in oxygen is your ticket. You simply have to train yourself to take deep breathing time a few times a day. I do it in the morning right after I get up, I repeat it at 11AM–1PM–3PM–6PM–then before bed. Or if I am in the middle of an ‘event’ with George I will do my breathing as I am helping him cope and have him do the breathing to re-oxygenation his brain.

Stress has a lot of side issues that can be high blood pressure and such. So once again, getting those check-ups for simple signs of body changes are the answer to change your stress into controlled life issues. Meditation, yoga, just resting with feet lifted above the heart…you name it…it will make a difference on both the stress and your memory.

Food. Choosing a life style of eating…vegetarian, vegan, low carb, low sugar, low salt, low fat…they are all choices we go through in our lives. But that does not mean our bodies work well on those choices. That is why you need to keep up with your simple testing of protein levels, sugar levels and blood pressure –not to mention cholesterol. Those tests are a once a year thing…they are done with a blood draw and urine test. They are no big deal. If you are 30 or 70 you need to know what is happening with your own body. To say; ” I only eat vegetarian” and think that means you are healthy is a dangerous road to follow. Your body responds to food intake on its own terms and you need to make sure you are choosing the right nutrition for your body, your age, and your activity level. Protein intake has to be high as you age. I have already added a nutritional drink to my diet every day. I take it in the morning and it starts my day with a boost of protein so I can get through what ever awaits me with my care giving. I am 62 and according to my tests I’m in good and even health. But, I know my care giving stress is taking its toll so I am trying hard to be good about my nutritional needs.

Exercise. It’s hard to believe just because we spend our day in an office and walk around the house and do chores that we could be ‘in bad shape’. The truth is in your own daily movement. If you are not walking more than around your home…more like walking each day around the block or doing some sort of ‘extra’ exercise your body is going downhill. It may be a slow or fast slide…but you have to control it. I know that I have gained way to much weight being at home and eating through stress. I now have to move and watch my eating with a low carb diet. I can tell the difference, not the way I look…but how I feel. When I am on my low carb I have energy and can think and be creative. If I start to munch too much, I just start to feel aches and pains and get emotional and forgetful. I feel the change in my body. Do you?

Supplements. I know so many people who do not take any nutritional supplements. There is no law about it…but in my mind, it’s nuts. We all live such busy lives…to not take at least added minerals or vitamins is living on the edge. Eating well and healthy enough to give us good nutrition takes time and money…do you prepare all your food and eat healthy each day? If not, think of adding supplements that will enhance what you already do in your daily food intake.

I live without health insurance. I simply do not have the means to pay for it. So, I just have to live with the idea that I need to keep my body as strong as I can. It makes me crazy worrying that I might have a big health issue…and my doctor visits are $200+ but I still go in once a year.  I am so aware of it, that I have done a lot of study about my own personal needs. I take supplements and minerals and so does George.

I have interacted with so many dementia/ senior and Alzheimer’s care givers that we all share different supplements that help our seniors in-care. So George has quite the list of things he takes each day along with his Alzheimer’s medication. I feel they help him. I encourage you to do your own study. I know this is all time, time to study, time to look things up, time to find a good price on supplements and such. But it is an investment in your own physical and mental health. If you are worried about your memory…the place to start is with at least reading about good food, supplements, movement, breathing and taking these simple medical tests each year.

I wish you all health and good brain power. I also wish you the courage to face your health with honesty and listen to what your body is telling you. There is no reason to ignore memory loss or any other feeling you have about your own mind or body. Face it, today there are answers and solutions…be active, don’t wait till there is no answer and no way to make a change.

Thank you for all you do for your seniors. Giving Care is a lonely and hard journey for us all… it takes love and a kind spirit to stand by the side of a senior facing a difficult health journey. Just being there is a gift…Blessings, francy