Aging and Dementia

I missed a talk at Stanford on Dementia & The Brain,
but was fortunate enough to get a copy of the presentation slides. 

The topic of taking care of your body is VERY important to me. 
ESPECIALLY when it pertains to aging. 
Whether you read this for yourself or for someone else in your life that you care about, I would really appreciate your few minutes to consider these few slides I picked out from the presentation.

*****

Dementia Pg1

Recall declines over the years if you are not pro-active about maintaining mental agility.

Dementia Pg10

Dementia Pg16

Dementia Pg22

EXERCISE!

Dementia Pg29

I believe physical sharpness complements and improves mental sharpness.  REGARDLESS OF AGE.

Dementia Pg30

A study where high physical activity reduced cognitive impairment by 42%.

My question for you: what is “physical sharpness”?
What is “mental sharpness”?
How are they related?

Dementia Pg35

DIET!
Antioxidants, Omega-3’s, polyphenols, turmeric.

Dementia Pg38

Dementia Pg40

Dementia Pg41

Here are a few websites to help you calculate your BMI:
BMI 1 // BMI 2

Dementia Pg42

Dementia Pg43

The following slide provides some good examples of how to maintain cognitive activity and mental agility.  There are so many options – it should be easy to find a few you enjoy:
Crossword puzzles, Scrabble, essay writing, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, logic puzzles, Scattergories, Boggle!

You could also try online Brain Fitness games!
Lumosity and Happy Neuron are great options. 
I’d say the free trials are worth your time.

Dementia Pg45

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading.

My last piece I’d like to add is the word STRESS.
We often think we’re taking good care of ourselves…
by getting enough sleep
or by eating consciously
or by getting exercise
or by maintaining healthy relationships.
It’s important to remember that it is the BALANCE of all these stresses that keeps us healthy.

For college kids, it’s often sleep that we put on the backburner.
For those in the workforce, it’s often exercise.  Or food.
For parents, sometimes we forget that emotional factors like worrying stress our body to the point it effects our immune systems, which shuts down the body’s functions on so many other levels.
For anyone over the age of 25, I’d say we often forget to be pro-active about continually learning to keep our minds sharp.

If you let one piece fall behind (sleep exercise food emotional stress etc)… your body is left susceptible to short-term sicknesses and more serious illnesses down the line.

It seems so obvious, and yet all of us – myself included – need the reminder from time to time.
Unfortunately (truthfully, honestly)… others can only provide you with information and resources.  The real self-assessment and motivation must come from you.

-S

The Beginning

The back-story to this blog….

Last Wednesday I made a trip back to Stanford to see a talk by and about the Tibetan Nuns Project, which is a non-profit organization that has physically built the facilities for and structurally set up the education for Tibetan refugee nuns in the Himalayan region.   It actually was quite inspiring to see what has been built up over the last twenty years to aid in the housing, education and advancement of an exiled and overlooked group of people.  I could definitely see myself involved in such an effort in the future.  Empowerment through education!

Anyway, when the directors were describing the different subjects that the women are taught in their nunneries, I was glad to hear that technology was one of the skills the nuns are trained in, aside from reading, writing, philosophy, etc.  Technology will allow them to stay up-t0-date with the modern world, allow them to communicate, and allow them a valuable set of skills should they decide to leave the nunnery one day.  Elizabeth announced with pride that each of the nunneries now has a camera, so that they can learn video and photography.

My first reaction was…. can I see pictures they’ve taken??!  If they’re given these cameras, why not use them??  Why not document?

And then I realized that I could ask myself the same questions…  With cameras on our cell phones, we have been granted the CAPABILITY to bring people around with us in our everyday lives!

So I set a goal to do just that — to provide one photo per day, from my life, to document … for whoever is interested to see or care.  They’re mostly camera-phone photos for now.  I anticipate the quality will improve along the same course as convenient in-pocket technology.

-S