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Memory Loss Guide

Alison Beaver

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How To Help Prevent Memory Loss As You Age

By Howdini
 
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More Videos from Howdini 30 videos in this series

Do you seem to have more difficulty paying attention as you grow older? Dr. Cynthia Green, author of Total Memory Workout, discusses how we could possibly change our ability to remember as we age.

STACEY: I'm Stacey Tisdale for howdini.com. The common wisdom is that the older you get the worse your memory gets. But does it have to be that way? No, according to Dr. Cynthia Green, psychologist and author of Total Memory Workout. Thank you so much for joining us.

DR. GREEN: Thank you.

STACEY: How is it that we could possibly change our ability to remember as we age?

DR. GREEN: As we grow older things change. They change for us physically and they change for us intellectually. Not all the changes are bad. But some things do change that make it harder to remember. For example we have more difficulty paying attention as we grow older. We also have more difficulty processing things quickly, so that the speed in which we work our way through information can change. And finally our flexibility can change, so that our ability to multitask and to juggle kind of multiple balls at once can become more difficult. All of these can be very challenging to memory, but it doesn't mean that it has to negatively impact on our cognitive performance.

STACEY: When is a sign that a memory loss, you know, associated with ageing is a real problem?

DR. GREEN: First of all if you're having problems with your memory that lasts over several months, that is either a gradual decline or a very sudden change in memory function that doesn't go away, then it's a sign that it's probably a memory loss that should be evaluated. In addition, if the memory change starts to interfere with your functioning day to day so that it makes it harder for you to handle things at work or at home. If a loved one, for example, starts to have difficulty managing their finances or cooking or driving, or doing other kinds of things like that that allow them to function independently, that's a sign that the memory loss should be evaluated.

STACEY: Give us some simple strategies for keeping our memory sharp as we grow older.

DR. GREEN: Number one, we really need to lead a memory healthy lifestyle. That includes things like staying physically active, eating a diet that's memory healthy. So, for example, making sure we eat a well-balanced healthy diet that follows any kind of current guidelines, any restrictions that we might need, in addition to really balancing things like alcohol and caffeine which can detract from memory on a day to day basis. Then we also should stay mentally active. The more mentally active you are throughout your lifetime, the lower your risk might be for developing a memory disorder. And that staying mentally engaged and mentally active is just good for you. It keeps your brain juices flowing. So doing things like crossword puzzles or Sudoku or other kinds of word games is great, but you need to do it against the clock because you want to do something that's going to force you to think quickly since that's one of the things we talked about changes as we grow older. We have to stay challenged in that way. The other thing is that it's really important to stay socially engaged and socially active. Research has suggested that being socially engaged keeps our brain going better as we grow older. And there are a lot of benefits to things like volunteering which can also be very stimulating.

STACEY: Great advice Dr. Cynthia Green, psychologist and author of Total Memory Workout. Thank you for joining us.

DR. GREEN: Thank you.

STACEY: I'm Stacey Tisdale for howdini.com.

Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?

We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.

Who is Howdini?

People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)

Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.

Howdini History

The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)

Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.

Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.

What’s Next for Howdini?

Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.

We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.

And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.

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