Memory, Forgetfulness, and Aging: What's Normal and What's Not?
Many older adults worry about their memory and other thinking abilities. For example, they might be concerned about taking longer than before to learn new things, or they may sometimes forget to pay a bill. These changes are usually signs of mild forgetfulness — often a normal part of aging — not serious memory problems.
What's normal forgetfulness and what's not?
What's the difference between normal, age-related forgetfulness and a serious memory problem? It's normal to forget things once in a while as we age, but serious memory problems make it hard to do everyday things like driving, using the phone, and finding your way home.
Talk with your doctor to determine whether memory and other cognitive problems, such as the ability to clearly think and learn, are normal and what may be causing them.
Signs that it might be time to talk to a doctor include:
It has been said that the more colors on your plate -- and the more shades of vegetables and fruits your meal includes -- the more nutrients you're eating. This means that an easy way to make sure that you're eating a healthy meal is simply to look at how many different colors your food represents.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the most colorful and healthy "super foods."
Some of the most colorful and healthy "super foods"
Citrus: Bright yellows and greens
Citrus fruits, which encompass the usual suspects - lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits - aren't just bright and cheerful looking; they also come with healthy benefits and are at their juiciest in the winter.
Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C - one medium orange delivers more than 100 percent of your daily dose. In addition, studies have shown that nobiletin, a flavonoid extracted from tangerines, helps to prevent obesity and offers protection against type 2 diabetes.
Pomegranates: Ruby reds
Pomegranates, which originated from Persia, have a juice rich in antioxidants - compounds that block the activity of other chemicals known as free radicals, which have the potential to cause cancer.
Studies have shown that just a cup of pomegranate juice might help prevent free radicals from developing "bad" LDL cholesterol, in effect, lowering high cholesterol levels. It's also been said that this red juice can lower high blood pressure and help reduce blockages (atherosclerosis) in the arteries of the heart.
Kale: Rich greens
Dark leafy greens, such as kale flourish in the cold of winter. In fact, a frost has been known to sweeten the leaves of kale. These greens are particularly rich in vitamins A, C and K and are especially good for women of childbearing age. There's just a little over 30 calories in one cup of raw kale which contains protein and Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid.
Potatoes: Creamy purples, reds, oranges and white
Potatoes sometimes get shortchanged for being a white starch and thought to hold little to no nutritional value, like white rice or white bread. However, potatoes, especially sweet potatoes and russet (skin on) potatoes, are packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals and low sodium. They are a whole food that contain an excellent source of two immunity boosters - vitamins C and B6, delivering 25 percent and 29 percent of your daily needs per medium potato, respectively.
Potatoes are also a good source of fiber and folic acid, which has been known to help in the prevention of heart disease and stroke, as well as memory loss, osteoporosis and sleep problems. Folic acid is especially important for women of childbearing age. Purple potatoes can add an especially nice accent color to your plate and have even more healthy nutrients. These include antioxidants that have been linked to lowering the risk of cancer, as well as reducing inflammation.
Squash – Vibrant oranges and yellows
Butternut, acorn, delicata and spaghetti squash are some of the most popular assortments of winter squash and they are all excellent choices in the cold season.
Want to feel fuller with lower calories? One cup of cooked winter squash contains only 80 calories and is high in vitamins A and C, as well as being a good source of vitamins B6 and K, potassium and folate. These super foods are also packed with helpful antioxidants and omega-3s, not to mention elements for a strong immune system to help protect against colds and flu.
"Although many experts differ on what food is the most nutritious or has the most antioxidants and disease fighting capabilities, it is certain that eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables is important," Dr. Barry says. "Regular exercise, portion control, and getting your daily dose of these 'super foods' can help keep you in tip-top shape and ready for the warm weather that lies ahead."
Click here to watch Dr. Mark Pass speak about Elder Abuse on
Caucus New Jersey with Steve Adubato
S2019 E1: Examining Strategies to Prevent Elder Abuse. Each year hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited. This is called elder abuse. Abuse can happen in many places, including the older person's home, a family member's house, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. This panel examines the various types of elder abuse and considers strategies to prevent it.
AIRED: 1/12/2019 | 0:26:39
"An estimated 1 in 10 senior citizens are victims of elder abuse, the intentional acts by a caregiver that lead to physical, psychological, or emotional harm."
Grandparents Who Babysit Are Less Likely To Get Alzheimer's And Dementia
Currently, more than 10 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's or dementia, and that number is expected to rise in the coming decades.
“Do not regret growing older. Instead,- do it wisely. It is a privilege denied to many.”- - Anonymous
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Should seniors and toddlers go to day care together? It’s a strange sounding question, but a growing number of day care facilities around the country say yes. And an emerging body of research suggests that doing so is good for both the young and old.
Most people likely haven’t heard of “adult day care.” Thanks to the advocacy of public figures like Senator Elizabeth Warren and Ivanka Trump, we hear constantly about paid care for the youngest members of our society. We hear far less about care for our eldest citizens.
Like day care for infants and toddlers too young for school, adult day care is for seniors who need assistance and supervision during the day and are seeking stimulation and companionship. It’s the result of our increasingly generationally segregated society. Whereas once multiple generations of families lived together or in very close proximity and shared the duties of caring for young, old, and sick alike, now those who need care are tucked away in care facilities with their generational peers. The breakdown of the nuclear family and increasing familial migration has only accelerated this phenomenon. Babies live thousands of miles from their grandparents, and aging adults live several states away from their children.
As a result, our society is more generationally stratified than ever before, making the elderly feel particularly alienated. And while infants and toddlers are too young to know what they are missing without seniors in their lives, raising children in a society where the median age hovers around 30 is artificial and strangely backward. Researchers at Stanford pointed out that aging adults are one of the best groups to spend time with young children, not only because they can pass on decades of wisdom, but also because they are at a point in life where they have the availability and patience to do so and can provide the kind of stimulation that young children need to thrive. “Older adults are exceptionally suited to meet these needs in part because they welcome meaningful, productive activity, and engagement, “the researchers wrote. “They seek—and need—purpose in their lives.”
In particular, the research found that mixed-age care promoted sensitivity to others among both the young and old, with one mother of a preschool aged-participant saying the program had made her daughter “very empathetic, way beyond her years.” Young children who participated in intergenerational care had more advanced motor and cognitive skills, higher developmental scores, and more advanced social and emotional competencies than their non-intergenerational peers, to name a few, and older adult participants reported lower levels of loneliness, reduced agitation, and improved health, among other findings.
We can’t undo our modern reality of young people being forced to leave home far behind in search of better opportunities and families being generationally splintered across the country. But we can, as a society, support and encourage the movement to reintegrate the generations in safe and loving care facilities. Babies and the elderly in day care together may sound far-fetched, but it’s one of the most promising ways to help alleviate elderly alienation and expose children to a generation they might otherwise never know.
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