As each decade of our life passes, we feel more and more vulnerable to the health issues that we read about, experience personally, or experience vicariously through a family member or someone we know dealing with a particular health condition. We say quietly to ourselves, “Sure glad it isn’t me,” but in the same thought we do think that some health problem will affect us someday. We don’t want to put our head in the sand, but instead want to gain knowledge about simple ways to prevent a variety of age-related health issues with smart decisions about our health, today.
Dementia – An Outrageous Mental Health Problem
One issue that is affecting millions of people is dementia. We all know someone who has dementia, or is in the early stages of dementia. I am always testing myself in many ways, to make sure I do not have it. It is a frightening disease, when you lose control of your mind.
What is Dementia?
Dictionary.com defines dementia as:
“Severe impairment or loss of intellectual capacity and personality integration, due to the loss of or damage to the neurons in the brain.” (source)
Our brains are made of billions of neurons, who “speak” to one another, called synapses. Imagine when you put a positive electrode up against a negative electrode, and the little sparks that are created. These sparks are the “synapses” or “connections” between two neurons. This constant electrical activity between neurons, is important for us to maintain healthy brain function.
Dictionary.com defines synapses as:
“A region where nerve impulses are transmitted or received; where neurotransmitters are released to be picked up by an adjacent neuron.” (source)
We need our brains to be at optimal performance, so as to have a strong ability to recall, think and respond.
My Earliest Memories of Dementia
I remember as a child that anyone who must have had dementia, were called “crazy” people by those of us too young to know what their infliction was. In fact, we had a house at the top of our street that was an old folks’ home. Many people, male and female, lived in that house. There was a staff of men and women who were their caregivers. We thought the residents were crazy because of things they said to us as we cut through their yard on our way home from school. Some of them walked down our street at night, in the dark and cold, with their pajamas on. My parents had to call the home to inform them when one of their residents was at the bottom of our street. It was quite sad, and left an impression on my siblings and I, all these years.
Experiencing Dementia with My Mom
My mom was diagnosed with diabetes when she was about 72 years old. Working with her doctors, dad and she felt like they had her diabetes under control with diet and medication. A few years later, when mom was 76, she began forgetting many things, including where she put things as well as names. She told me one time, that sometimes when she is driving, she didn’t remember which was the gas pedal and which one was the brake! A serious red flag was just raised.
We decided to have her tested for dementia, and as you can imagine, it was accurate. We decided to have a representative from our local Alzheimers Association, come to our house to meet mom. She then met with dad, my siblings and myself. My husband enjoyed staying with mom, during this important meeting. We were told that there are many different kinds of dementia, it is an umbrella name for many different types. Alzheimers is just one type of dementia. She continued to educate us that mom had vascular dementia, little strokes in her brain. She explained that when you have diabetes and vascular dementia, your lifespan is shortened to 3-5 more years. Wow. We knew we had only a small amount of time left with mom. We made the best of those 5 years that we continued to have with her, and were so grateful that she still knew us all the way until the end.
Who Gets Dementia?
It is important for all of us to be aware of the signs of dementia, in the elderly. But what age is considered the earliest that a person can have the onset of dementia?
We have recently learned that we can start losing these neuron connectors as early as age 20. As each decade passes, we lose more and more connections between neurons. This process is now causing our brain to shrink. I have personally learned of someone I’ve known for many years (now in her 50’s) who was diagnosed with dementia. We normally think of someone in their 80’s or 90’s, but that was news to me about a 50+ year-old person getting dementia. Dementia is a slow progressing disease, taking many years to finally show up in a person. When it’s finally detectable, it’s devastating.
What Are Dementia Symptoms?
Here are some of the main signs of dementia, according to Web.MD:
- Trouble recalling recent events or recognizing people and places
- Trouble finding the right words
- Problems planning and carrying out tasks, such as balancing a checkbook, following a recipe, or writing a letter.
- Trouble exercising judgment
- Trouble controlling moods or behaviors
- Not keeping up with personal care, such as grooming or bathing
Other Red Flags:
- Change in level of energy and spontaneity
- Withdrawal from work and social activities
- Increasing problems with language, both expression and understanding
- Possible trouble with driving
Steps You Can Take to Slow the Onset of Dementia
- Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods
- Eat smaller meals, 5-6 times a day
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit foods with saturated fats and cholesterol
- Cut down on sugars
- Limit foods with high salt and sugar content
- Stay hydrated
- Take a multi vitamin
- Get exercise regularly
- Read books, newspapers, and magazines
- Do Crossword puzzles or other brain challenging games
- Improve blood circulation to the brain*
*Besides exercise, you may be wondering how you can improve blood circulation to the brain. Scientific studies have shown that specific polyphenols, from the seed of the chardonnay grape, are more bioavailable and impact blood vessel function. An extract has been created by a special patent-pending process to help make vital nutrients available to the brain through supporting healthy circulation.
A carefully selected guarana extract has been extensively tested to help improve cognitive performance and creates a positive synergistic response to the brain when combined with the polyphenols from the chardonnay grape seed. One company, Shaklee, has developed this product. Shaklee’s MindWorks was made available to Shaklee Distributors and the public in August 2014, at their Annual Global Conference. MindWorks is the result of over 5 years of Product Research and Development.
Tell Me More About MindWorks
Scientific studies have shown the following 3 results of MindWorks:
- Immediate improvement in cognitive performance 3X better than the control group
- Protects against age related mental decline
- Supports healthy blood circulation
Each person will respond differently, based on the condition of their own brain. MindWorks is a safe product, and can be used along with any medications or supplements. Testimonies are coming in from those who have tried MindWorks, as this is a new product and, so we will be adding testimonies of the incredible health improvements people are having with this product.
In Our Brain’s Conclusion
We have the power within us to choose how we live our own lives. We make choices every day, on what we eat, how much sleep we get, what level of activity we engage our brains in and what supplements we take to keep our brain’s as healthy as they can be in light of today’s toxic and stressful world. Make your choices wisely. Your brain and your family will thank you.
What’s your story? Do you know someone with Dementia? How has it affected your life?
Want to learn how you can help protect you and your loved ones from dementia? Contact us below.