September 2019

Dear Members and Friends of the Church of the Holy Communion,

One morning in July, we were invited to a lovely breakfast at a nearby senior assisted-living home. The food was delicious, the residents very talkative and happy looking and the staff were very congenial. Our group talked about our recent travels and our activities coming up in the fall. We had an opportunity to tour the spacious residence and we discussed how we might fit into that environment when the time comes to do so.

We manage to keep up our home and enjoy being mobile. We drive our cars; visit our family in the USA and abroad, and in general, are very independent. We do worry about how our health will be in the future. The possibility of memory loss looms over us when we suddenly can’t seem to find the words to describe what we are thinking.

As we age, we need to do activities that help prevent memory loss.

1. There are many ways to find mental stimulation.

Do puzzles. Learn a new instrument. Volunteer.

2. Stay Social. This will help limit depression and stress, both possible contributors to memory loss.

3. Organize. Keep calendars and lists. Create spaces for commonly lost items. Limit distractions and multitasking.

4. Sleep. A good night’s sleep can strengthen memory.

Potential early signs of dementia are:

1. Repeatedly asking the same questions.

2. Forgetting common words while speaking.

3. Confusing simple words.

4. Taking longer to complete familiar tasks.

5. Misplacing items in inappropriate places.

6. Getting lost in familiar areas.

7. Changes in mood or behavior for no apparent reason.

Let us be aware of our physical and mental health and seek to keep them strong. Stay mentally active and consult your doctor if you have any concerns about memory loss.

With love and care,

Judy Gardner, Parish Nurse September, 2019