Senior Citizen's Guide to Cleveland 2016-17 Winter/Spring Edition - page 6

Say You Saw It in the Senior Citizen’s Guide to Cleveland
Lifestyle Changes Can Help
Ward Off Dementia
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 2016, 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
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