When "Senior Moments" Become Longer Than Moments

Thursday, 14 Nov 2013, 8:05:00 AM

Barbara Bishop

Barbara Bishop, Columnist
Santa Monica Mirror Archives
Barbara Bishop, Columnist

My friend Grace Cheng Braun sent me some information earlier this week about how her organization WISE & Healthy Aging is offering free memory screenings. It’s in conjunction with National Memory Screening Day on Nov. 19.  

I wonder if she’s trying to tell me something.

If I don’t write things down, those things hardly ever get done, because I don’t remember to do them. Lately, I am forgetting simple words or names. In fact, I make up names for people when I don’t remember their names. And I think it’s usually a much better name than the name they have.

For example, my friend Bruce looks so much more like a Greg, so I call him Greg. My friend Clare looks much more like a Hillary, so Hillary she is. In fact, I think I look more like a Sarah than a Barbara. Maybe I will start answering to Sarah.

Back to the press release from Rose, I mean Grace.  

The event is held in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, and includes a preview of the new WISE Minds brain fitness program to be offered in January 2014.  

Sounds like a good New Year’s resolution. I have the cardio down, walking my rescue puppy two times a day for a half-hour each session. I lift weights twice a week, slowly changing the physique of my body. I have changed my eating habits (a little).

For 2014, I will resolve to improve my brain fitness as well as take regular yoga classes to heal my body and soul.   

The information Grace provided says that with the aging of the U.S. population, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia have shot up to the top of the list of America’s health concerns – even surpassing cancer and heart disease.   

The information also reports that memory screenings are a significant first step toward finding out if a person may have a memory problem. Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Others might result from causes that are not currently reversible, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Bottom line, the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat one of these conditions.

The free memory screening will be available from 10 am to 2 pm on Nov. 19, on the first floor of the Ken Edwards Center. It’s located at 1527 4th Street, Santa Monica, which is WISE & Healthy Aging’s main office. It’s walking distance for me, so I will have no excuse not to go (unless I forget to write it down).

Grace also let me know that the series that starts in January, “WISE Minds, Custom Workouts for Your Body and Brain” is geared to all adults age 50 and older “who want to take care of their brain the same way they take care of their body.” Awesome.

The workouts will include exercises that focuses on getting the blood flowing upward to the brain – moves that create wrinkles in the brain, a place where we actually do want wrinkles as we age!  

For more information about the Nov. 19 Memory Screening, as well as WISE Minds, contact WISE & Healthy Aging at 310.394.9871.

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Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email Barbara.bishop@bbprinc.com.

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