Approaching Memory Loss Concerns

It can be difficult to know what to do if you’ve noticed changes in yourself or a family member or friend — particularly when they’re related to memory loss, thinking or behavior. It’s natural to feel uncertain about voicing your worries because that can make them seem more “real.” However, these are significant health concerns, and it’s important to take action to figure out what’s going on.


Assess the situation


  • What changes in memory, thinking or behavior do you notice?
    What have you noticed that’s out of the ordinary and causing concern?
  • What else is going on?
    Various conditions can cause short-term or long-term memory loss and affect thinking or behavior. Are there any health or lifestyle issues that could be a factor? These may include family stressors or medical problems like diabetes or depression.
  • Has anyone else noticed changes?
    Has a family member or friend expressed concerns? What did he or she notice?
  • Are any of these changes a sign or symptom of Alzheimer’s or another dementia?
    View the 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s to check if they’re on the list.

Start a conversation


  • Who should participate in the conversation to discuss concerns?
    If you’ve noticed changes in yourself, confide in a person you trust. If you’ve noticed changes in someone else, the person who has the conversation could be you, a trusted family member or friend or a combination of these individuals.
  • What is the best time and place to have this conversation?
    Have the conversation as soon as possible. Choose a time and location that will be comfortable for everyone involved.
  • How will you approach the conversation?
    Try the following if you’ve noticed changes in yourself:
  • I’ve noticed [blank] in myself, and I’m concerned. Have you noticed anything about me that worries you?

Try the following if you’ve noticed changes in someone else:


  • I’ve noticed [blank] in you, and I’m concerned. Have you noticed it? Are you worried?
  • How have you been feeling lately? You haven’t seemed like yourself.
  • I noticed you [specific example], and it worried me. Has anything else like that happened?
  • Discuss seeing a doctor together.
    Many conditions can cause memory loss or affect thinking and behavior, so it’s important to get a full medical evaluation. If the cause isn’t Alzheimer’s or another dementia, it could be a treatable condition. If it is dementia, there are many benefits to receiving an early and accurate diagnosis, including the opportunity to plan for the future, access support services and explore medication that may address some symptoms for a time.

    Many people find it helpful to bring a trusted friend or family member to the medical evaluation.

    Try the following if you’ve noticed changes in yourself:

  • I think it would give me peace of mind to see a doctor and find out what’s going on. Would you be willing to go with me for support?

Try the following if you’ve noticed changes in someone else:


  • There are lots of things that could be causing these changes, and dementia may or may not be one of them. Let’s see if the doctor can help us figure out what’s going on.
  • The sooner we know what’s causing these problems, the sooner we can address them.
  • I think it would give us both peace of mind if we talked with a doctor.
  • If needed, have multiple conversations.
    The first conversation may not be successful. Some people attribute problems with memory, thinking or behavior to stress or normal aging and may not take your concerns seriously. Write down some notes about the experience to help you plan for the next conversation. Consider the location, day and time; what worked well and what didn’t; who was involved; the end result; and what could be done differently the next time.

Reach out for help


  • Turn to the Alzheimer’s Association for information and support.
  • Call our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900 to speak with a master’s-level clinician about your concerns and next steps.
  • Explore the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP Community Resource Finderto find local resources such as a health care professional or your closest Alzheimer’s Association chapter.
  • Visit our Training and Education Centerto take an online course anytime and learn more about a variety of topics related to Alzheimer’s and dementia.


Stages of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease typically progresses slowly in three general stages: early, middle and late (sometimes referred to as mild, moderate and severe in a medical context). Since Alzheimer’s affects people in different ways, each person may experience symptoms — or progress through the stages — differently.

Overview of disease progression


The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease worsen over time, although the rate at which the disease progresses varies. On average, a person with Alzheimer’s lives four to eight years after diagnosis, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors. Changes in the brain related to Alzheimer’s begin years before any signs of the disease. This time period, which can last for years, is referred to as preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.

The stages below provide an overall idea of how abilities change once symptoms appear and should only be used as a general guide. (Dementia is a general term to describe the symptoms of mental decline that accompany Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.)

The stages are separated into three categories: mild Alzheimer’s disease, moderate Alzheimer’s disease and severe Alzheimer’s disease. Be aware that it may be difficult to place a person with Alzheimer’s in a specific stage as stages may overlap.


Early-stage Alzheimer’s (mild) 


In the early stage of Alzheimer’s, a person may function independently. He or she may still drive, work and be part of social activities. Despite this, the person may feel as if he or she is having memory lapses, such as forgetting familiar words or the location of everyday objects.


Symptoms may not be widely apparent at this stage, but family and close friends may take notice and a doctor would be able to identify symptoms using certain diagnostic tools.

Common difficulties include:


  • Coming up with the right word or name.
  • Remembering names when introduced to new people.
  • Having difficulty performing tasks in social or work settings.
  • Forgetting material that was just read.
  • Losing or misplacing a valuable object.
  • Experiencing increased trouble with planning or organizing.

Middle-stage Alzheimer’s (moderate)


Middle-stage Alzheimer’s is typically the longest stage and can last for many years. As the disease progresses, the person with Alzheimer’s will require a greater level of care.

During the middle stage of Alzheimer’s, the dementia symptoms are more pronounced. the person may confuse words, get frustrated or angry, and act in unexpected ways, such as refusing to bathe. Damage to nerve cells in the brain can also make it difficult for the person to express thoughts and perform routine tasks without assistance.


Symptoms, which vary from person to person, may include:


  • Being forgetful of events or personal history.
  • Feeling moody or withdrawn, especially in socially or mentally challenging situations.
  • Being unable to recall information about themselves like their address or telephone number, and the high school or college they attended.
  • Experiencing confusion about where they are or what day it is.
  • Requiring help choosing proper clothing for the season or the occasion.
  • Having trouble controlling their bladder and bowels.
  • Experiencing changes in sleep patterns, such as sleeping during the day and becoming restless at night.
  • Showing an increased tendency to wander and become lost.
  • Demonstrating personality and behavioral changes, including suspiciousness and delusions or compulsive, repetitive behavior like hand-wringing or tissue shredding.

In the middle stage, the person living with Alzheimer’s can still participate in daily activities with assistance. It’s important to find out what the person can still do or find ways to simplify tasks. As the need for more intensive care increases, caregivers may want to consider respite care or an adult day center so they can have a temporary break from caregiving while the person living with Alzheimer’s continues to receive care in a safe environment.


Late-stage Alzheimer’s (severe)


In the final stage of the disease, dementia symptoms are severe. Individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, to carry on a conversation and, eventually, to control movement. They may still say words or phrases, but communicating pain becomes difficult. As memory and cognitive skills continue to worsen, significant personality changes may take place and individuals need extensive care.

At this stage, individuals may:


  • Require around-the-clock assistance with daily personal care.
  • Lose awareness of recent experiences as well as of their surroundings.
  • Experience changes in physical abilities, including walking, sitting and, eventually, swallowing
  • Have difficulty communicating.
  • Become vulnerable to infections, especially pneumonia.

The person living with Alzheimer’s may not be able to initiate engagement as much during the late stage, but he or she can still benefit from interaction in ways that are appropriate, like listening to relaxing music or receiving reassurance through gentle touch. During this stage, caregivers may want to use support services, such as hospice care, which focus on providing comfort and dignity at the end of life. Hospice can be of great benefit to people in the final stages of Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their families.


Protecting Your Lungs

Sometimes we take our lungs for granted. They keep us alive and well and for the most part, we don’t need to think about them. That’s why it is important to prioritize your lung health.


Your body has a natural defense system designed to protect the lungs, keeping dirt and germs at bay. But there are some important things you can do to reduce your risk of lung disease. Here are some ways to keep your lungs healthy.


Don’t Smoke


Cigarette smoking is the major cause of  lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Cigarette smoke can narrow the air passages and make breathing more difficult. It causes chronic inflammation, or swelling in the lung, which can lead to chronic bronchitis. Over time cigarette smoke destroys lung tissue and may trigger changes that grow into cancer. If you smoke, it’s never too late to benefit from quitting.  The American Lung Association can help whenever you are ready.


Avoid Exposure to Indoor Pollutants That Can Damage Your Lungs


Secondhand smoke, chemicals in the home and workplace, and radon all can cause or worsen lung disease. Make your home and car smokefree. Test your home for  radon. Avoid exercising outdoors on bad air days. And talk to your healthcare provider if you are worried that something in your  home,  school or  work may be making you sick.


Minimize Exposure to Outdoor Air Pollution


The air quality outside can vary from day to day and sometimes is unhealthy to breathe. Knowing how  outdoor air pollution affects your health and useful strategies to minimize prolonged exposure can help keep you and your family well.  Climate change and  natural disasters can also directly impact lung health.


Prevent Infection


A cold or other respiratory infection can sometimes become very serious. There are several things you can do to protect yourself:


  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based cleaners are a good substitute if you cannot wash.
  • Avoids crowds during the cold and flu season.
  • Good oral hygiene can protect you from the germs in your mouth leading to infections. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and see your dentist at least every six months.
  • Get vaccinated every year against influenza. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if the pneumonia vaccine is right for you.
  • If you get sick, keep it to yourself! Protect the people around you, including your loved ones, by keeping your distance. Stay home from work or school until you’re feeling better.

Get Regular Check-ups


Regular check-ups help prevent diseases, even when you are feeling well. This is especially true for lung disease, which sometimes goes undetected until it is serious. During a check-up, your healthcare provider will listen to your breathing and listen to your concerns. If you need health insurance,  learn more about your options.




Whether you are young or old, slender or large, able-bodied or living with a chronic illness or disability, being physically active can help keep your lungs healthy.  Learn more about how exercise can strengthen your lungs.


13 Tips to Keep Your Bladder Healthy

People rarely talk about bladder health, but everyone is affected by it. Each day, adults pass about a quart and a half of urine through the bladder and out of the body.


As people get older, the bladder changes. Visit  Bladder Health for Older Adults for more information on how the bladder changes and common medical problems, including bladder infections,  urinary incontinence, and urinary tract infections.


While you can’t control everything that affects bladder health, there are some steps you can take to improve bladder health. Follow these 13 tips to keep your bladder healthy.


  1. Drink enough fluids, especially water.Most healthy people should try to drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid each day. Water is the best fluid for bladder health. At least half of fluid intake should be water. Some people need to drink less water because of certain conditions, such as kidney failure or heart diseaseAsk your healthcare provider how much fluid is healthy for you.
  2. Limit alcohol and caffeine.Cutting down on alcohol and caffeinated foods and drinks—such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and most sodas—may help.
  3. Quit smoking.If you smoke, take steps to quit . If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
  4. Avoid constipation.Eating plenty of high-fiber foods (like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits), drinking enough water, and being physically active can help prevent constipation.
  5. Keep a healthy weight.Making healthy food choices and being physically active can help you keep a healthy weight.
  6. Exercise regularly.Physical activity can help prevent bladder problems, as well as constipation. It can also help you keep a healthy weight.
  7. Do pelvic floor muscle exercises. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, help hold urine in the bladder. Daily exercises can strengthen these muscles, which can help keep urine from leaking when you sneeze, cough, lift, laugh, or have a sudden urge to urinate.
  8. Use the bathroom often and when needed.Try to urinate at least every 3 to 4 hours. Holding urine in your bladder for too long can weaken your bladder muscles and make a bladder infection more likely.
  9. Take enough time to fully empty the bladder when urinating. Rushing when you urinate may not allow you to fully empty the bladder. If urine stays in the bladder too long, it can make a bladder infection more likely.
  10. Be in a relaxed position while urinating. Relaxing the muscles around the bladder will make it easier to empty the bladder. For women, hovering over the toilet seat may make it hard to relax, so it is best to sit on the toilet seat.
  11. Wipe from front to back after using the toilet.Women should wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra. This step is most important after a bowel movement.
  12. Urinate after sex. Both women and men should urinate shortly after sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex.
  13. Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Wearing loose, cotton clothing will allow air to keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight-fitting jeans and nylon underwear can trap moisture and help bacteria grow.


Bladder Health for Older Adults

What Can Affect Bladder Health?


Many things can affect bladder health. You can’t control everything that affects bladder health, but there are many bladder health behaviors that you can control. Here are some things that may affect your bladder health.


  • ConstipationConstipationcan cause too much stool to build up in the colon, which can put pressure on the bladder and keep it from expanding the way it should.
  • DiabetesDiabetescan damage nerves around the bladder that help with control.
  • Being overweight.People who are overweight may be at higher risk for leaking urine.
  • Low physical activity.Physical activity can help prevent bladder problems, as well as constipation. It can also help you keep a healthy weight.
  • Bladder problems are more common among people who smoke. Smoking can also increase the risk for bladder cancer.
  • Some medicines. Some medicinesmay make it more likely for your bladder to leak urine. For example, medicines that calm your nerves so you can sleep or relax may dull the nerves in the bladder, and you may not feel the urge to go to the bathroom.
  • For many people, drinking alcohol can make bladder problems worse.
  • Caffeine can bother the bladder and change how your bladder tells you when you need to urinate.
  • Some people with bladder problems find that some foods and drinks, such as sodas, artificial sweeteners, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, and tomato-based foods, make the problem worse. People who have bladder problems may feel better when they don’t eat these foods and drinks.
  • Pelvic Injury.Trauma—such as prostate surgery, childbirth, or sexual assault—can damage the muscles and nerves that help control the bladder.

Some activities can increase the risk of urinary tract infections, including:


  • Having sex. Sexual activity can move bacteria from the bowel or vaginal cavity to the urethral opening. Urinating after sex lowers the risk of infection.
  • Using a catheter to urinate. A catheter is a tube placed in the urethra and bladder to help empty the bladder. The catheter can make a direct path for bacteria to reach the bladder.
  • Using certain types of birth control. Diaphragms can bring bacteria with them when they are placed. Spermicides (a birth control that kills sperm) may also make UTIs more likely.


Diabetes Risk Factors

Type 1 Diabetes


Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an immune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake). Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Known risk factors include:


  • Family history: Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 1 diabetes.
  • Age: You can get type 1 diabetes at any age, but it’s more likely to develop when you’re a child, teen, or young adult.

In the United States, whites are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than African Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans.


Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.




Type 2 Diabetes


You’re at risk for developing  type 2 diabetes if you:


  • Have prediabetes
  • Are overweight
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk)

If you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease you may also be at risk for type 2 diabetes.


You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with simple, proven  lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you’re overweight,  eating healthier, and getting regular  physical activity.






You’re at risk for developing  prediabetes if you:


  • Are overweight
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk)

You can prevent or reverse prediabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthier, and getting regular  physical activity. The CDC-led  National Diabetes Prevention Program can help you make healthy changes that have lasting results.




Gestational Diabetes


You’re at risk for developing  gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant) if you:


  • Had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy
  • Have given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are overweight
  • Are more than 25 years old
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Have a hormone disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS)
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander

Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born but increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Your baby is more likely to have obesity as a child or teen, and is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life too.


Before you get pregnant, you may be able to prevent gestational diabetes by losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthier, and getting regular  physical activity.



Diabetes Fast Facts

The Big Picture


  • More than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it.
  • More than 88 million US adults—over a third—haveprediabetes, and more than 84% of them don’t know they have it.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States (and may be underreported).
  • Type 2 diabetesaccounts for approximately 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes; type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 5-10%.
  • In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.


  • Medical costs and lost work and wages for people with diagnosed diabetes total $327 billion yearly.
  • Medical costs for people with diabetes are twice as high as for people who don’t have diabetes.


Should You Avoid Watermelon If You Have Diabetes

Should You Avoid Watermelon If You Have Diabetes

Just like fresh sweet corn and fresh tomatoes right off the vine, watermelon is a sign of summer and loved by many people. But should you avoid watermelon if you have diabetes? It’s a natural fruit, and has so many benefits with a high nutritional value, but it also has a high glycemic index number and also high in carbs. Do you have to give up watermelon entirely? The answer is all about amount and what else you’re eating.

It’s all about serving size and the other food you’re eating.

While a lot of the watermelon is water and fiber, it still has a GI—glycemic index—of 72 to 76 per 100 gram serving. Most foods with a GI of 70 or higher should be reconsidered or eaten with caution. While small portions may not cause a problem, a large quantity of watermelon could cause a high rise in your blood sugar levels. It’s estimated that a serving size of 150 grams should be safe, or about one cup of cubed watermelon.

Every person is different and so is their diet management for diabetes.

Before you go out and buy a watermelon and plan on snacking on it daily, it’s important to understand that the numbers are generalized. Every person has a different sensitivity to certain foods, watermelons vary in the amount of sugar and what is eaten with the watermelon makes a difference. Always check your sugar levels and make sure you don’t eat it with a lot of other high carbohydrate, high glycemic index foods.

There are some good reasons to use watermelon as your dessert of choice.

Watermelon has loads of benefits, like most fruits and vegetables. It’s high in vitamin A that can help keep your vision, heart, kidneys and lungs healthy. It’s also high in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, improves heart health and helps fight cancer. It’s high in fiber, too. It also has potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin B-6. Watermelon is over 90% water, which keeps you hydrated and fills you up longer. It’s the perfect sweet treat to keep you on a healthy diet.

  • While eating a small amount of watermelon may not hurt you, it’s suggested that you do eat it every day if you want to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
  • When you eat watermelon, it’s best to eat it with other foods that are higher in healthy fat, fiber and protein. That could be as simple as consuming some nuts. Not only will it fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied, it also reduces the potential for a spike in blood sugar.
  • Watermelon contains citrulline, a nonessential amino acid, which may help with metabolic health and improved blood pressure.
  • While eating watermelon in moderation can be safe for diabetics, drinking watermelon juice alone should be avoided.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

Tips To Reverse Prediabetes Naturally

Tips To Reverse Prediabetes Naturally

You’re in the doctor’s office, and he or she brings back the results of your tests. From the look on the doctor’s face, you know it’s not good. Your blood sugar levels are high and borderline diabetic. You are prediabetic. You understand that it could mean that eventually you’d be on daily insulin. The doctor explains all the additional health risks you now face. Then there’s a glimmer of light to help you lift you up. The doctor tells you that you can reverse prediabetes naturally. It won’t be easy, but it isn’t that hard either. The changes you make today can mean a better life tomorrow.

Changing your diet is a top priority.

Processed food, high sugar, fat and calorie intake without substantial nutrients and even a diet high in red meat increases your risk. While it may feel like there’s nothing left to eat, you’re wrong. What’s even better news is that in most cases, people find they like their new way of eating. It’s called clean eating. It’s focusing on a diet that’s lower in fat, lower in simple carbohydrates and lower in calories. It consists heavily on vegetables, fruits with complex carbohydrates, lean meats, whole grains and healthy fat from food like salmon and avocados.

Get more exercise.

You don’t have to be in a formal exercise program, just adding a 30 to 60 minute walk, bike ride, swim or a team sport to your daily schedule five days a week. It only takes moderate exercise to get benefit. However, if you want to lose weight, starting a regular workout can help. Exercise helps you boost your energy level and improves your mood. It can help reduce insulin sensitivity that promotes diabetes. The fitter you become, the easier it is to lose weight and the better your cells use your insulin.

Lose weight if you’re overweight.

If you’re eating healthy and increasing the amount of exercise you get, losing weight should come naturally as part of that protocol. Just shedding as little as five or ten percent of your weight will improve your blood sugar level. If your weight is 200 pounds, shedding 10 to 20 pounds can make a big difference.

  • One measure of health is waist circumference. If your waist is 35 inches or more and your a woman or 40 inches or more and your a man, it means you probably have visceral fat. It’s the most dangerous type of fat that promotes insulin resistance.
  • If you find it difficult to maintain a regular workout time because of motivation, get a workout buddy or work with a personal trainer. Both make you more accountable.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking increases the risk for insulin resistance, plus causes lung disease and heart disease. It can cause you to have more limited endurance. Consult your doctor for help, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Be careful about what you drink. Sugary soft drinks add to your daily calorie count. Even diet soft drinks are bad. Studies show that they add to the circumference of the waistline that causes insulin resistance.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

Oral Health Fast Facts

  • Oral health is essential to general health and well-being.
  • Oral disease can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, and learning. It can also affect social interaction and employment potential.1
  • The three oral conditions that most affect overall health and quality of life are cavities, severe gum disease, and severe tooth loss.2
  • By age 8, over half of children (52%) have had a cavity in their primary (baby) teeth.3
  • Low-income children are twice as likely to have cavities as higher-income children.3
  • 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 64 currently has cavities.3
  • Drinking fluoridated water and getting dental sealants (in childhood) prevent cavities and save money by avoiding expensive dental care.4, 5
  • Tobacco use and diabetes are two risk factors for gum disease.6, 7
  • On average, 34 million school hours are lost each year because of unplanned (emergency) dental care, and over $45 billion in US productivity is lost each year due to untreated dental disease.8
  • Medical-dental integration between oral health and chronic disease prevention programs benefits patients and saves money.9