4. Relying on Lists and Post-It Notes
Some people are “list people”. They like to write lists and check things off. Others like to use notes as reminders. However, when people begin to experience Alzheimer’s symptoms, they rely on reminders much more often. Loved ones may notice more post-it notes and lists around the home.
3. Difficulty Expressing Thoughts
Telling a story, explaining an event, or expressing an opinion requires word recall and linear thought, which can become extremely difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s. If you have consistently experienced trouble explaining yourself or verbalizing a story to someone else, you may want to get a medical assessment.
2. How to Prevent Cognitive Decline
In the same way that diabetes or heart disease are preventable, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s can also be slowed or prevented. A healthy lifestyle can help keep your brain agile.
Physical activity prevents heart disease and vascular problems, which can cause dementia. Activities that keep the heart healthy can also keep your brain functioning at optimal levels. Engaging in exercise increases blood flow to the brain. Avoiding alcohol and smoking also helps to keep your cardiovascular system strong.
Challenging your mind can also help it stay sharp. For example, taking up new hobbies, becoming a lifelong learner, and remaining socially active exposes the brain to new experiences, preventing it from stagnating.Related: 11 Medications That Cause Memory Loss
1. When to See a Doctor
Keeping regular checkups with your physician is essential for both your physical health and your mental health. Letting your doctor know if you’ve been having memory problems can help intervene much more quickly, should there be any issues.
If you or your family begin to notice any of the symptoms listed, or forgetfulness is preventing you from living the life you want, it might warrant further assessment by a doctor. Daily lapses, consistent forgetfulness, or concern from friends and loved ones can indicate the need for a doctor’s feedback. You may be tempted not to get checked, but doing so keeps you from getting the help you need.Related: 10 Brain Foods to Improve Your Memory and Brain Health