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Moving Day
Jim Cassidy

After living in the same old house in North Andover with fifty years of great memories, my wife and I decided it was time to move on to a modern Town House condo in Bradford, with the latest conveniences deemed necessary in today’s new age.

 It’s good so far, but with Murphy’s Law swirling about we picked the worst week of the decade to move.  The end of January saw three feet of snow fall in the area plus days of below freezing temperatures!

 I will not bore you with the stress of that week’s moving, but one thing I learned as a Senior Citizen — keep track of the essentials in your life — your medicines, bank books, health and credit cards and especially your keys!

 With chaotic activities surrounding us, items of importance disappear right under your nose.

People tend to joke about “Senior Moments”, but often the humor masks an underlying fear of Alzheimer’s Disease.
 With this in mind it is important for seniors to keep our memories in shape, no matter what is happening around us. The latest information from the AARP Bulletin on this mental breakdown teaches mind aerobics as a way to get your mind in shape.

 “Talk to almost anyone over 50 and you hear the same stories about memory glitches — time consuming searches for misplaced glasses and keys, difficulty recalling names only minutes after an introduction and perhaps most frustrating of all, coming up empty when a familiar word is on the tip of the tongue. These are called brain busters. It’s possible to fight brain busters, scientists believe, by taking control of your life and reducing stress. What works is a strategy to improve overall health and to stimulate the brain with exercise. The next big fitness movement is the brain fitness movement or aerobics for the mind.”

Here are some ideas:

1. Exercise regularly - activities like walking, dancing and biking.
2. Stick to a healthy diet - avoid sugar and saturated fat; eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
3. Get enough sleep. Too little sleep impairs concentration.
4. Devise memory strategies - make notes or underline key passages to help you remember what you have read.
5. Socialize - conversation, especially positive, and meaningful interaction help maintain brain function.
6. Get organized - designate a place for important items such as keys and checkbooks.
7. Turn off the tube - some experts say too much TV watching weakens brain power.
8. Jot down new information - writing helps transfer items from short to long-term memory.
9. Solve brain teasers - crossword puzzles, card games and board games.
10. On a personal note, don’t move in the winter!

Jim Cassidy is former Commander of the American Legion POST 219, and prior member of the Council on Aging in North Andover. You can send your comments to Jim Cassidy at ValleyPatriot@aol.com

*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
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Prior Coluns by Jim Cassidy