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The long and short of it


As you get older, you may not remember things like you used to, and that is a normal part of aging. Whether its occasional forgetfulness or loss of short-term memory, it can interfere with the activities of daily living (ADL’s) but there are many causes of memory loss. Stretching your brain keeps your mind sharp. People who are more engaged in challenging activities are likely to stay sharp, such as reading a book, listening to the radio, playing board games, or going to the museum. Staying active can help your memory, imagination and your ability to think and plan. Forgetting people’s names, or where you left your house key is a normal part of life and this type of memory problem is more annoying than serious. But, forgetting your husband’s name or what the keys are for is a more serious matter! Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and multi-infarct dementia are among the most common memory loss diseases. Sometimes, memory loss is referred to as dementia, most are commonly associated with aging. Memory problems affect your planning, judgment and reasoning and other thought processes caused by brain damage, especially after having a stroke. Memory loss is something you should pay attention to and report to your physician. In the first week and months after a stroke, a person’s brain is in a ‘heightened state of plasticity’. This means your brain is rapidly trying to heal itself. Specialists agree, this is the best time for recovery. Stroke survivors are at higher risk of stroke, and knowing the signs is an important step to ensure your health and safety. There are many risk factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure, being overweight and high cholesterol will increase a person’s chance of having another stroke. Smoking, damages the cardiovascular system, and atrial fibrillation (Afib) can contribute to also having another stroke. You can reduce your odds if you address the key factors. Even a small lifestyle change, such as 15 minutes of exercise in your daily routine can make a big difference in reducing your risk! Support is essential during this challenging time and nothing beats the support of someone who understands exactly what you are going through. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” This is a comforting suggestion, to people who are experiencing difficult times, bringing peace and harmony to those who love the Lord. It is the work of the Lord who sustains us, and the Lord uses his powerful right hand to uphold us and causes us to be victorious in all our battles. You also need to do your part to maintain an active brain. Eat healthy; a healthy diet builds brain power. Exercise; exercising physically to stay sharp. The type of exercise that gets your heart rate up, like walking, swimming and biking should add up to at least 45 minutes a week, because physical activities increase the blood supply to the brain and improve links between brain cells. Staying mentally active is associated with improved cognition. And finally getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night will help boost memory and mood.

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