BY JILL HORNER
Did you know someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds? Did you know in South Carolina there are 106,233 living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia? Here in Beaufort County the cases of Alzheimer’s have grown by 354% since the year 2000.
More and more people are living with dementia, while more and more are becoming their caregiver.
As we look at these staggering numbers, the cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia are only going to grow as adults live longer. That’s why, no matter your age, you need to take the topic of brain health seriously.
What you eat, how often you exercise, when you learn something new, and who you ar e interacting with on a regular basis. This is all part of ongoing brain health.
How often do you catch yourself multitasking at the office or at home? You think you are getting so much done and are crossing off items on the to-do-list.
However, multitasking is bad for the brain. While you think you are getting more done, you aren’t doing any of those tasks at 100%. If a picture of your brain was taken while multi-tasking, you would see all oranges and reds, almost like your brain was on fire.
An image of a resting brain is full of blues and purples, colors of calm and relaxation. Plain and simple, multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance. When you try to do two or more things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully. If you have a lot to do, take one task at a time. While it may take a little longer, the task will be completed correctly and with your full attention.
Two additional brain health tips we want to convey are how important it is to socialize and continue learning new hobbies.
Often, as we age, we tend to self-isolate. This is the worst step you can take.
It is vital for the brain to stay engaged with thinking and speaking. The same goes with learning new hobbies. In order for the brain to keep working, it needs to be exposed to new things.
If you put a toy car in the corner of a room and never play with it, it becomes rusted and the batteries don’t last. It’s the same with the brain.
If you are reading this and you are starting to see a change in your memory, or speaking skills Memory Matters offers classes and services that can help. We have a class called Brain Boosters for those who are aging and want to keep their brain fresh.
We also provide free MoCAs or memory screens. This non-medical test is superior to existing cognitive screening tools to detect Alzheimer’s disease and 20 other disorders such as stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea and kidney disease.
Jill Horner is Executive Director of Memory Matters