Last week, I found a bag of carrots in my cutlery drawer and my stereo remote in the bathroom. No joke.
These things happen. Being absent-minded and misplacing items like keys or even putting something away in the wrong place is an occasional slip-up that everybody makes on occasion.
As you’ve been getting older, maybe you notice it’s been happening to you, and perhaps with a little more frequency.
Maybe you can’t remember your new neighbor’s name or some other piece of information you recently learned.
That stuff may make you feel concerned like you’re potentially heading down the stream to dementia. Thankfully, those kinds of memory slips are normal, particularly for the slightly more experienced and wiser.
Over time, your brain acquires a lot of information. Some of it, particularly the relatively unimportant, can struggle to find a piece of real estate, and you forget it.
There are other types of memory loss that may indicate that something is wrong. For example, if you find yourself lost while traveling to the grocery store you’ve been shopping at for years, you have difficulty following conversations, have trouble learning new things, or mood shifts, it could be time to see a doctor.
Also, if you notice that those little moments of forgetfulness or losing things are happening regularly, it could also be cause for concern, and a doctor’s visit is recommended.
There is no proven method to prevent dementia, but several lifestyle factors may help preserve memory, overall cognition, and delay the onset of dementia.
Research has shown that activity, like daily walking at a moderate/brisk pace, can slow the progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and maintaining heart health can also help optimize brain health.