Are you blanking or having a senior moment?

by DavalosMcCormack on August 24, 2008

My niece e-mailed me today she said, “‘Hi Tia, I’m blanking, but I think you once mentioned a store to me that sold discounted party supplies and is located next to the flower market on 6th….does this ring a bell?” My niece Alegra is 26, she “blanks”; it’s a casual thing, nothing to worry about, it doesn’t mean she is experiencing the subtle beginnings of Alzheimer’s or dementia, no, not her because she’s young.

However, last Sunday when I was having breakfast with my friends of a “certain” age, if anyone forgot the name of someone, or couldn’t remember the title of a book they said, “Sorry, I’m having a senior moment.” It implies that this is what we are in for from now on, “senior moments” that are just the beginnings of the unknown world of aging. Can dementia and the big A be far behind?

It got me wondering about our belief systems and how words can create a foundation of belief that will not only lower our physical and mental expectations but speed us on to early aging. My niece just blanked, there was nothing more, but my friends were getting old and that’s why they forgot names, places, words. So I decided to find out how boomers were fighting to keep their brains healthy.

The reality is, the likelihood of actually getting the big A or dementia is fairly low, only 10 percent of seniors over 65 are diagnosed, far more people suffer from other debilitating diseases like diabetes and heart disease that can kill; but we of a certain age, fear the big A much more than the chances of dying early from heart failure, and as the boomers we are we need to learn that we can change our aging outcome.

Remember the phrase, “I’d like to age gracefully” that meant we would be involved in our lives and have tea in the afternoons with fine linens and lovely biscuits with charming friends. Well, I still want to age gracefully, maybe the crumpets aren’t your cup of tea, but I’ll bet you are willing to keep your brain intact as long as you can too!

We can use instead of lose our brains to the aging process, in fact the medical experts agree we can fight the big A and kick it all the way to the 90’s!

How you ask? Duh…exercise, good food, and the brain gym! Really, the more you challenge your brain by adding information and learning new things the more you keep your wits! In fact, there is a whole slew of memory enhancement products on the market, some even work! Sue Halpern at Slate.com tried a number of them on for size and did all the work for us! There are CD’s with music and tones to enhance the brain, books that stretch your mind, and even software and video games, and online materials such as “My Brain Trainer”, which bills itself as “the worlds first virtual mental gymnasium” and is full of exercises that challenge, pump, and stretch different parts of your brain.

So here we go again, eat right, get some exercise and do a few laps with your mind! It will help keep those senior moments at.. oh what’s that word, I’m blanking here.

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