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Franklin Rescue Service is a volunteer organization,
providing emergency medical care to the Town of Franklin since 1966.


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Improving Memory: Understanding Age Related Memory Loss

How's your memory? Memory experts might answer the question with another question: What kind of memory? The word "memory" is a general term that describes a variety of brain functions. It is the ability to recall events from decades ago and from the last few seconds. It is the ability to memorize complex information or simply to connect a name with a face. Many memories last a lifetime, but others fade with age. Some degree of memory loss is a natural part of the aging process for many people. But clearly defining the type of memory loss can help determine whether the problem is a minor, normal change or the first signs of a memory disorder.

Half to two-thirds of people ages 50 and older notice greater difficulty remembering names, appointment, and other details. Memories that are pegged to a specific time and place are especially vulnerable. Fortunately, the small memory lapses that occur with age are not usually signs of a neurological disorder, such as Alzheimer's disease, but rather the result of normal changes in the structure and function of the brain.

It is reassuring to know that the memory difficulties that are caused by the aging process are relatively minor. Although frustrating, they won't interfere with your ability to do your job or run your household. It is also reassuring to know that there are many things you can do to protect and improve your memory.

Some health conditions that become more common with age can impair memory, including heart disease and its risk factors, such as hypertension. Memory impairment is also among the side effects of some medications, such as sleep aids and some pain relievers. In such cases, controlling health problems and switching medications can often restore memory function.

Perhaps the most encouraging finding about the brain is that it keeps growing new neurons (brain cells) and making new connections between them. You can support the growth and development of your brain by taking advantage of more hopeful news: People who keep learning and stay mentally active increase their odds of retaining good brain functions as they age. The more you use your brain, the stronger it gets - and the longer it stays strong.
Source: Adapted from the Patient Education Center


Contact Us:

PO Box 172, Franklin, VT 05457
Tel.: 802.285.2050, Fax: 802.933.2022

Polly Gadbois, Squad Leader
John Burley, Training Coordinator