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Old 03-09-2017, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,108 posts, read 3,465,006 times
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Without exaggeration, we find ourselves more 'with it' since we retired. We both had extremely stressful job/business ownership that consumed us totally the last 10 years of our work lives. I worked 12 hour days on my job; my partner's business was almost 24/7. We could never escape except for a long weekend once in awhile. Even then, we were on the phone or email.

Since retiring, we can TRAVEL, READ, THINK!!

We are over-achievers, and we challenge ourselves...lived outside the US for 5 years after retirement, learning Spanish. We moved from the East coast to the Southwest US. My partner took up golf (and shoots par most days); I took up roller-blades (though I cracked a rib early on).

Oddly, my mother was kinda ditzy her whole life, but after she retired, we saw a general improvement in her decision-making. After she was widowed, she began to travel independently, volunteered at a hospital. She lived in her own home until age 92, never lost her mental capacity.

My feeling is that people need to challenge themselves. If you retire and sit around watching TV or organizing your photos, you may indeed "lose it."

Use it or lose it, may be true after all!
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,406 posts, read 7,929,570 times
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John and I are trying to learn Tamil. I don't think it would have been any easier to learn in our 30's either. The only difference is that the memory isn't as sharp now. It's a tad harder but not impossible. It just depends on how lazy we are. The Tamil alphabet has around 240 letters. Yikes.

I know someone who is losing it and I watched her slip away in her middle 60's. She's also very sick from Hep C, diabetes, and cardiac issues. She's convinced that people are breaking into her house and chipping her foundation. It's sad.
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:46 AM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,260,773 times
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My SIL first noticed that she was becoming confused prior to age 65. At around age 67 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. I first noticed that my husband was becoming confused around age 60. At first his doctors thought it might be a side effect of his medications. It has been progressing slowly. He has diabetes and heart disease which ups the odds of him getting Alzheimer's Disease. At some point, I am sure, that will be his diagnosis.

Conversations between him and his sister are painful to listen to. They go like this:

Him: How is that show you like to watch?
Her: What show?
Him: The show you always tell me about.
Her: I don't remember. What is the name of the show?
Him: I don't remember.
Her: Did I tell you that so and so died on The Walking Dead?
Him: What is The Walking Dead?
Her: It's a show I like to watch.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:41 AM
 
6,128 posts, read 2,547,077 times
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People even older than that are capable of running countries, and doing a damn fine job in the process. It's mostly genetic, but the "use it or lose it" mantra also holds true. Constantly giving your brain challenges to overcome will keep it sharp.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:55 AM
 
2,132 posts, read 1,006,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razza94 View Post
People even older than that are capable of running countries, and doing a damn fine job in the process. It's mostly genetic, but the "use it or lose it" mantra also holds true. Constantly giving your brain challenges to overcome will keep it sharp.
That's only true for SOME people.

The rest of us have cognitive impairments that are physiological in nature. Mine started in my 30s, but I was starting from such a high point that it took a really long time for it to become a problem obvious enough that even *I* saw it.

I have a variety of cognitive impairments stemming from long-term fibromyalgia. For me, the cognitive issues are much much worse than the pain, and they come and go depending on how much I am in "remission". These include problems with word finding, word substitution, memory loss, occasional corner-of-the-eye hallucinations (when I'm in really bad shape I will "see" bugs zipping around, but I know there are no actual bugs even then). I can't make reasonable goals, I can't make decisions, and I have no sense of passing time. Lots of executive function losses.

This is age related in that as I age, the fibro gets harder to overcome. Hence - someone who was formerly at the top of the game as a software engineer now can't remember how to operate a cash register without a cheat sheet. I've had to give up my library card after forgetting a batch of books and running up $100+ in overdue fees. I'm getting a whitelist device so I can have a landline again - because when things are bad I'm easily taken advantage of.

It's happened. I recognize it and know it will happen again. Therefore I am taking steps now to make certain things habitual so that when I am non compos mentis protections THAT I AM WELL USED TO are already in place.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:57 AM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,148,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by want to learn View Post
I know LOTS of people in who are losing their mental abilities in their 50s and 60s. The David Cassidy story of how someone only 66 years old can being fighting Dementia really hit home.

I am only 62 and I am not nearly as sharp as I was just a few years ago. Many people I know are showing signs of dementia at an early age.

The experts though tell everyone to keep working until they are 70 and wait until then to collect Social Security.

Some of us may be living longer but are we in great shape mentally?
Early onset dementia is fairly rare. I personally know no one who has experienced it. But of course, I live in a "Blue" bubble and am surrounded by people with advanced degrees, who are work out freaks, don't do meth, drink reasonably moderately, don't smoke (tobacco) and eat like complete health Nazis. YMMV considerably depending on geo and demographic.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:04 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,300 posts, read 4,875,305 times
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I have a harder time remembering words and I also can't multi-task like I used to.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:06 PM
 
2,567 posts, read 1,337,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
Early onset dementia is fairly rare. I personally know no one who has experienced it. But of course, I live in a "Blue" bubble and am surrounded by people with advanced degrees, who are work out freaks, don't do meth, drink reasonably moderately, don't smoke (tobacco) and eat like complete health Nazis. YMMV considerably depending on geo and demographic.
I don't think any of this matters with true early onset dementia. Two people in my circle went from being intelligent, fit and successful people to 24 hour care around 60. One declined very quickly as in 18 months from diagnosis to a care facility and the other took about three years.

What you describe helps with every day mental acuity and general physical health, but not against genetic dementia. JMO drawn from my own observations in life and not scientific.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:36 PM
 
15,149 posts, read 19,767,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by want to learn View Post
I know LOTS of people in who are losing their mental abilities in their 50s and 60s. The David Cassidy story of how someone only 66 years old can being fighting Dementia really hit home...

David Cassidy is not the best example. He did a lot of drugs and was a heavy drinker for many years, so, if he truly has dementia, his brain may be damaged from all that. He had to go into rehab last year after another DUI.

I read that people in the audience at his recent performance thought he was either drunk or strung out on drugs -- not just forgetful.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,401 posts, read 9,148,021 times
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Since I retired over a year ago, I feel sharper mentally. I'm 67.

About 15 years ago I had a colleague, who developed early onset dementia in his late 40s. I believe he died in less than a year.
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