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Updated: 11/05/2017 08:30:03AM

Preserving memory and cognition as we age

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Richard Ramos

Florida Gulf Coast University

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In 2002, dementia affected about 3.4 million Americans 71 and older, according to the Aging, Demographics and Memory Study published in 2007. Because the U.S. population 65 and older is expected to double to 70 million by 2030, the decline of memory and other cognitive functions brought on by dementia and the resultant loss of independent function is of special concern for individuals, families and health care systems.

“Maintaining and improving brain fitness as you age requires you to do things that are unique, novel and challenging — things you’ve never done before,” said Cindi Ryerson, a registered nurse and founder of Millennium House, an adult day care facility in Bonita Springs. “For example, if you brush your teeth with your right hand, try it with your left hand. Doing so will improve your brain fitness, because you will create new neural pathways and new connections.”

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