Celebrate World Alzheimer's Day

Each year on September 21, Alzheimer’s organizations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD).
Every 68 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease.  At current rates, experts believe the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will quadruple to as many as 16 million by year 2015.
Alzheimer’s disease is a family disease, because the stress of watching a loved one slowly decline affects everyone.  5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, more than 480,000 are living in Florida.  Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
During  September, take time to sharpen your memory, here are four simple ways to do so:
1. Actively OBSERVE and think about the specific new information that you want to remember. Use all of your senses. Being active in learning information heightens your ability to look at details more closely, and smell, touch and listen more carefully. In other words, pay close attention to what or whom you want to remember.
2. ASSOCIATE or link what you want to remember with what you already know. For example, if you meet a new person named Barbara, think about someone you knew in the past named Barbara. You may learn that Barbara is from Boston or owns a poodle or loves to cook. Associate any/all of the information you learn about Barbara with your own memories, as this will link the new information and become more meaningful.
3. VISUALIZE a picture in your mind of what you want to remember. Using the example of meeting Barbara, build upon that by perhaps visualizing Barbara from Boston cooking a lobster. Sometimes using wacky or fantastical images creates the most robust memories, but for most people, this will require some practice, as we tend to be very logical and serious as adults.
4. ACTIVELY THINK and expand on the details that you want to remember. The more details you can gain by listening and asking questions, the more you will absorb and likely remember.
Also, consider supporting the local Alzheimer’s groups, including Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Support Network of Naples.