Healthcare Network Southwest Florida

Posted on

Apr 29, 2022


Florida - Southwest

Share This
Have you ever struggled to remember someone's name, forgot where you parked your car or misplaced your glasses or house keys?
You are likely having minor memory glitches or moments of temporary forgetfulness or confusion associated with the aging process.
While occasional forgetfulness is normal, it can still be frustrating, embarrassing and concerning. As you age, changes in cognitive function can cause our brains to process information slower and therefore experience these memory glitches. To help you keep your mind sharp and performing optimally through every stage of the aging process, here is a list of tips to combat mental decline and preserve mental sharpness.
Jog your memory.
Exercising has numerous benefits to your health like lowering high blood pressure, preventing health conditions like diabetes, decreasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke and even boosting your mental health. Staying active has also been linked to higher brain function and motor skills in seniors .Evidence suggests that aerobic exercises (exercises that get your heart pumping like running) are especially beneficial as they improve blood circulation to areas in the brain associated with memory.
If you have'nt exercised in a while, start small! Try going for a brisk walk after dinner or taking a dance class. If you're interested in a low-impact exercise, try swimming or water aerobics. Its never too late to begin getting active!
Use your brainpower.
We know the benefits of exercising our bodies, but what about keeping our brains active? By engaging in brain-stimulating activities like reading, drawing and playing an instrument, you can help keep your memory sharp and improve brain function.
An excellent way to engage your brain is by learning a new language or picking up a hobby like quilting which has been linked to enhancing memory function in older adults. With many complex patterns, styles and techniques, you will never stop challenging yourself. The long period of intense focus is great for training your brain to concentrate better. Not to mention its the perfect creative outlet and stress reliever!
Involve your friends and family! Challenge them to complete a sudoku puzzle every day or play a match of chess with you. The options are endless for ways you can use your brainpower. The most important criterion is that it is something you enjoy!
Sleep it off.
In todays modern constantly connected world, it seems harder and harder to turn off and get a good nights sleep. As you age, sleeping problems can become common causing your sleep quality to decrease. However, 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily is a must. When you sleep, your brain begins the process of retaining important memories and getting rid of unnecessary data to keep from overloading your brain. This process is known as memory consolidation and is essential to converting new experiences or information into long-term memory, making recalling easier and remembering more accurately.
If you are having trouble sleeping, create a night routine and go to bed at the same time every day. Your night routine can include participating in relaxing activities like meditating or journaling. If you like to read at night, be cautious of using a phone or tablet. The blue light from electronic devices can inhibit the production of melatonin causing you to feel wide awake at night.
Be proactive about your health.
Don't let an untreated medical condition be the cause of your memory loss issues. Unlike popular belief, dementia and Alzheimer's aren't the only health conditions that can cause cognitive decline. By staying on top of your annual health screenings and check-ups you can better manage health conditions that affect your brain function like hypothyroidism, diabetes and vitamin D and B-12 deficiencies.
Next time you visit your primary care provider, tell them about your concerns and bring a list of the medications you are currently on (some medications have been known to cause memory problems).
Whether you are experiencing normal moments of forgetfulness or suspect a more serious health issue, its important to talk to a medical professional and be open about your worries. You and your provider can work together to determine an appropriate care plan to meet your needs.
About the Author
Dr. Corin DeChirico is Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs for Healthcare Network, a medical and dental home for children, adults and seniors. For more information on Healthcare Network, visit or to make an appointment, call 239.658.3000.

Other Articles You May Like

Do You Need a Trust?

One of the first questions many clients ask is whether they need a trust. Its a great question, but it leads to another: What do you want your plan to accomplish? Lets begin with a brief discussion of what trusts are and how they work. Then well explore their benefits, which should give you a better idea of whether a trust is right for you and your family.What is a Revocable Living Trust?There are many different types of trusts and they can accomplish a wide range of goals. However, when most people think about trusts, the one they have in mind is a Revocable Living Trust.A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that allows the grantor (the person who creates the trust) to take personal assets and transfer them to the ownership of the trust. While the trust technically owns the assets, the grantor can continue to use them as he or she normally would.When a Revocable Living Trust is established, the grantor names a trustee to manage the assets in the trust during the grantors lifetime. Most grantors name themselves as trustee, giving them complete control over the trusts assets. Typically, a successor trustee is also named to take over management of the trust and distribute trust assets after the grantor passes away.What are the benefits of a Revocable Living Trust?One of the primary benefits of a Revocable Living Trust is that it enables assets held in the trust to avoid probate after the grantors death. This allows trust assets to be distributed to heirs quickly. The costs associated with probating the estate are also avoided. In addition, a Revocable Living Trust protects the privacy of the grantor (and beneficiaries) because the trusts provisions are confidential. A Last Will and Testament, on the other hand, is a matter of public record. Anyone can access information about the decedents assets, creditors, debts, and more.Another benefit of Revocable Living Trusts is they not only allow the grantor to control trust assets during life but also after he or she passes away. The grantor can stipulate when, how, and under what circumstances the successor trustee is authorized to distribute trust assets to beneficiaries. This is particularly important if the beneficiaries are not yet mature enough to manage an inheritance on their own, or in situations involving blended families. For example, the grantor could stipulate that children from a first marriage receive assets from the trust, not just the children from a more recent marriage.Revocable Living Trusts can also be used to protect the grantor and the grantors family from a stressful and expensive guardianship proceeding if the grantor becomes incapacitated.As we mentioned earlier, there are many different types of trusts. If one of your primary goals is to protect assets from long-term care costs, creditors, lawsuits, and other threats, an Irrevocable Trust or an Asset Protection Trust may be a much better option then a Revocable Living Trust. If you have a loved one with special needs, a Special Needs Trust can allow you to create a fund for goods and services not provided by Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income while protecting eligibility for these vital programs. A Charitable Trust allows the grantor to set aside money for both a charity and beneficiaries, realize certain tax advantages, and generate an income stream.These are but a few examples of various trusts and what they can accomplish. If youre still not sure whether you need a trust, we welcome the opportunity to explain your options in detail and, if appropriate in your particular circumstances, design and implement the trust thats right for you and your family.

Make Sure Your Revocable Living Trust Is Properly Funded

Youve taken the time to plan for the financial well-being of your loved ones and yourself. Youve created a customized estate plan to address your goals and concerns. Your plan includes one of the most powerful estate planning tools out there, the Revocable Living Trust, which allows your heirs to avoid probate upon your death and provide for management of your assets without interference from the court should you become disabled or otherwise incapacitated.All is well and goodunless you have not taken the steps necessary to fund your trust. Without proper funding, your trust is worth no more than the paper it is written on.Its hard to believe, but many families take the time to create a comprehensive estate plan, together with a Revocable Living Trust, then fail to properly fund the trust. And even though a Will may provide that all assets pour over into your trust for further disposition, this takes place only after said assets pass through probate, thereby negating one of the primary benefits of creating the trust in the first place.Another important factor to consider is that assets such as life insurance, individual retirement accounts and pension plans pass to designated beneficiaries. If the trust is not named as the beneficiary of such assets, they will not be held (and protected) by the trust. Likewise, assets held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship will go to the surviving joint tenant, not the trust.  In addition, assets held in your name alone will not go to the trust until probate has been completed, which can take several months, a year, and sometimes even longer.Given all of this, it is extremely important for you to review all of your assets to determine which titles should be changed to your trust. Assets you will want to review, and possibly title to your trust, include all of the following:Bank accountsCertificates of depositInvestment accountsRetirement accountsStocks and bonds held in certificate formReal propertyTangible personal property such as art, rugs, jewelry, vehicles, etc.Promissory notesClosely-held business interestsWe can counsel you on the best strategies to employ so that your assets are correctly titled and your trust properly funded to achieve your goals and ensure your wishes are carried out.

Navigating Caregiver Burnout: Guidance from Elder Law Attorneys

In America today, an estimated 40 million individuals selflessly dedicate their time to providing unpaid care for a loved one. This statistic, reported by the National Alliance for Caregivers and AARP, underscores the enormous commitment caregivers make on a day-to-day basis. Often, these devoted individuals spend over 44 hours per week caring for a spouse or partner, a commitment that can take a significant toll on their own wellbeing.This total immersion in caregiving responsibilities often leads to a state known as caregiver burnout, a condition defined by physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. This exhaustion is often accompanied by a drastic shift in attitude, transforming from a positive, caring demeanor to a negative and indifferent one. Many caregivers become so engrossed in their roles that they feel guilty for spending time addressing their own needs, instead of focusing solely on their elderly or ill loved ones.Recognizing Caregiver Burnout: The Role of an Elder Law AttorneyAs elder law attorneys, we are intimately familiar with the complexities and challenges caregivers face. We believe its crucial for caregivers to recognize the warning signs of burnout, in order to maintain their own health and continue to provide quality care to their loved ones.Ask yourself the following questions:Are you exhausted even after a full nights sleep? Do you seem to catch an unusually large number of colds? Do you feel like your whole life revolves around caregiving but you dont get any satisfaction from it?  Are you always tense or feel like youve lost the ability to simply relax? Are you increasingly impatient with the person in your care? Do you often feel helpless, sometimes even hopeless? If youve found yourself answering yes to some or all of these questions, and these feelings have developed since you took on your caregiving role, its possible you are experiencing caregiver burnout.Prioritizing Self-Care: The First Step towards RecoveryRecognizing the signs of burnout is the first step. The next step is taking action to care for yourself. At Safe Harbor Law Firm, our team of experienced elder law attorneys is ready to provide empathetic, professional support during this challenging time.Our approach is both professional and personable, ensuring that we fully understand your unique situation and can provide the most effective guidance. We value your dedication to caregiving and want to ensure you have the necessary resources to care for both your loved one and yourself.Reach Out Today: Let Us Help You Navigate Caregiver BurnoutDont let caregiver burnout control your life. Reach out to us today and lets start the journey towards better self-care together. With our expertise and your dedication, we can navigate through this challenging time and find a path that ensures both you and your loved one receive the care you need. 

Local Services By This Author

Healthcare Network

Physicians 12655 Collier Blvd,, Naples, Florida, 34116

As you age, your healthcare needs evolve and so should your care team. At Healthcare Network, we make your needs the focus. Our highly trained primary care providers offer patient-centered, coordinated healthcareto support prevention, treatment and optimal well-being. With locations throughout Collier County, you can expect to receive high-quality, personalized care, regardless of your income, insurance, or job status.