Senility

Description: The weakness or mental infirmity of old age; also known as dementia.

Persons most commonly affected: Aged persons of both sexes.

Organ or part of body involved: Brain

Symptoms and indications: Senility symptoms can include progressive loss of memory, poor judgment, impaired concentration, and confusion. Often, noticeable personality changes are signs of senility.

Prevention: Stopping or controlling your use of certain substances can help you avoid dementias. Some people ask if they should stop smoking or drinking. Most doctors would advise you to stop smoking and to drink only in moderation. These steps not only improve the quality of your life, but also reduce your chances of developing dementia. Make sure that each physician or medical professional that prescribes medications for you knows all the medicines that you take. If you cannot remember them, take them with you when you visit your doctor. Never, ever use someone else\'s medications.

Keep yourself physically healthy. Get enough to eat and drink. Take a multivitamin with your largest meal each day. Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. Get at least 20 minutes of walking or other exercise daily. Keep your mind fit. Read, play cards, do crossword puzzles, join a discussion group or take a class.

Keeping your mind active and involved will keep you as sharp as possible. Become active in a civic or faith community organization. Donate some of your time to those who are less able. This will help you feel good about yourself.

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