We believe in truth and honesty. Sometimes that means facing up to harsh or uncomfortable realities-- including aging.

The average age of the Morning News Crew is 62.

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Chances of Getting Alzheimer's Increase As You Age

The average age of the KIT radio audience is probably pretty close to that.  That fact makes "senior" concerns and considerations fair game for regular conversation and for writing about around here.

That includes information about Alzheimer's dementia and how we might head it off before it sets in.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, the biggest factor is age -- the percentage of people with Alzheimer's dementia increases dramatically with age:

 3% of people age 65-74,  17% of people age 75-84 and 32% of people age 85 or older have Alzheimer's dementia


The Problem Is Growing

An ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION REPORT shows some serious comparative numbers about Alzheimer's role in mortality:

 Between 2000 and 2018, deaths resulting from stroke, HIV and heart disease decreased, whereas reported deaths from Alzheimer's increased 146.2%. In 2019, more than 16 million family members and other unpaid caregivers provided an estimated 18.6 billion hours of care to people with Alzheimer's or other dementias. This care is valued at nearly $244 billion

Ok, we get it. Alzheimer's is bad and getting worse, so what is the "head it off before it sets in" part of the story?

Tickle The Ivories Of Success

The answer will be music to your ears...because it IS music!

Researchers from Germany and Switzerland found when people in their sixties and seventies learned to play the piano it strengthened the white matter in their brain, which is known to degrade when memory and concentration problems set in.

The benefit came with six months of weekly piano lessons. Researchers note the protective effect appears “to be related to piano training intensity”—so the most committed students would likely see the greatest benefit.

In other words, more Chopin, less ChopStix.  Studies have found playing a musical instrument can protect against Alzheimer's but most of the research has looked at people who have been playing since childhood.

This report in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience said taking up music later in life could work wonders but only if students were fully committed.

Yakima Can Teach You To Play

If that's going to be you, hop on Google and search for Piano Lessons In Yakima.

One entry you'll find is from the new Guitar Center, 2507 Main St, Union Gap, WA   Phone(509) 452-8919

Guitar Center is proud to offer world-class keyboard lessons for anyone who has a passion for tickling the ivories. Our fully-engaging keyboard lessons are put on in state-of-the-art rehearsal facilities by friendly, certified instructors who take pride in making your keyboard journey a fun one from start to finish. Regardless of your tastes, age, or skill level, we'll do our best to ensure you leave each and every keyboard class with a stronger confidence and knowledge of the instrument.

The invite doesn't mention fighting off Alzheimer's dementia but you know and I know that's one of the potential positive side-effects of learning some sweet sweet music.

Check out this Youtube of the Top 21 piano pieces of all time.  Hey, if you are going to take lessons, let's set a high bar !

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