Write about what works for you - and what does not?
Earlier this year the National Institute of Health (NIH) announced the approval of a special new test called MoCA-H which could lead to a more accurate diagnosis of dementia in people with a hearing impairment.
Why is this very important? There are several connected reasons.
First, it is important because the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is the most sensitive test available for detecting cognitive assessments such as dementia, leading to quicker diagnosis and patient care. The standard MoCA test consists of 30 questions, including three spoken questions. The researchers replaced the three spoken questions with three written questions. The new test was found to be accurate for people with a hearing impairment.
Second, it is important because another recent study of Medicare beneficiaries showed that about 70% of people seventy and older have some degree of hearing loss. As of 2011, there were about 29 million men in the United States aged 70 or older. Only about 30%, or about 9 million olde goats. used hearing aids.
Third, it is important because, yet another study shows that midlife hearing loss by itself, without any other risk factor, can cause dementia.
Fourth, about 8% of olde goats have been diagnosed with dementia.
Finally, it is important because the more questions you fail to answer correctly on any MoCA test, the more likely it is that your health care provider will diagnose dementia, leading to treatment and possibly side effects such as loss of self-worth, depression, or loneliness.
It would be a shame if this was a false diagnosis based on your incorrect answers because your hearing impairment caused you to misunderstand the spoken questions.
How can I avoid this result?
If you have any sense that you are one of the 20 million olde goats whose hearing is not what it used to be, demand and insist that you be given a MoCA-H test. This test will not have any spoken questions. If you are given a MoCA with spoken questions, consider not completing the test and making sure that your medical records reflect your request of the M0CA-H.
DIY SAGE Test to Catch Signs of Alzheimer’s or Dementia Early
Article from the National Council on Aging
Top 6 ways to deal with stress
The good news is, there are some really good stress management strategies anyone can use. Even better, you don’t have to try them all, or all of them at once. Choose one or two approaches that interest you and are realistic.
1. Remove the source
This isn’t always possible, but if you can, try to identify what’s causing your stress and do something to change that. Cliff, for example, got help paying for housing. Linda asked about applying for SNAP benefits. And Charlsie took steps to overcome her technophobia by seeking assistance at her local senior center.
2. Eat well
Following a healthy, balanced diet can boost the immune system, help combat the effects of inflammation, and fuel positive physical energy. And, filling up on bulky, good-for-you fruits and vegetables can prevent “stress-eating” a bag of potato chips or pint of ice cream.
3. Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water yields many health benefits, including improved brain performance. Adding a glass or two a day can help keep you mentally sharp and stabilize your emotions. Plus, keeping yourself hydrated leads to better digestion, eases headaches, and boosts your energy, too.
Regular physical activity helps reduce blood pressure, ease arthritis pain, combat chronic illness, and lift your mood. And you don’t have lace up a pair of running shoes and start training for a marathon to reap these benefits, either. Even gentle movement like tai chi can make a world of difference.
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential to good physical and mental health. It’s the time when the body repairs itself and the mind takes a break. In particular, REM (deep) sleep helps regulate mood and memory. Establishing “sleep-friendly” routines can help both to reduce stress-related insomnia and other negative effects. Sleep quality can be improved with a comfortable mattress that fits your sleep preferences.
Engaging in deep breathing, positive visualization, and other mindfulness practices can help calm racing thoughts, slow a rapid heart rate, relax tensed-up muscles, and create a sense of well-being. There are many different ways to meditate, so take time to explore some approaches and find one that works for you.
Remember: everyone experiences stress from time to time. Being proactive about managing yours can maintain your physical and mental health and well-being so you can age well.
6 Ways to Manage Your Life
A Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.