Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh Fall/Winter Edition 2015-16 - page 13

Many people believe dementia—a term used to
describe a combination of memory loss, declining
communication skills and thinking—is a natural part of
aging. Fortunately, this is not true, and the majority of
seniors do not develop it.
Beginning in our twenties, everyone experiences a
slight decline in cognitive abilities, such as short-term
memory. If this decline increases and is severe enough
to affect daily activities, it is known as dementia. The
most common type of dementia is known as Alzheimer’s
disease. In 2015, it is estimated that 5.3 million
Americans of all ages will have Alzheimer’s disease.
Although that number is sobering, it is encouraging to
know that:
• In recent years, there have been advancements in
the management of Alzheimer’s symptoms.
• The focus for Alzheimer’s and dementia research
is beginning to broaden. In the past two decades,
the attention has been on the end stages of
the disease. Now, researchers are looking more
closely at the causes of Alzheimer’s and what can
be done to prevent it.
• There are lifestyle changes you can make that
may help reduce your risk of developing dementia.
Recognizing the Signs of Dementia
Dementia is a disease that can impact a person on
many levels and in many different areas—or they may
be affected by just a few symptoms. It’s helpful to be
aware of the symptoms of dementia in order to better
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11
Article
Health
Lifestyle Changes Can
Help Reduce Your Risk of
Developing Dementia
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