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posted: 10/1/2012 6:00 AM

Your health: Don't forget

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  • You can improve your memory by following a routine and slowing down.

    You can improve your memory by following a routine and slowing down.

  • A new kind of dry cleaning may be safer for you and the environment.

    A new kind of dry cleaning may be safer for you and the environment.


Memory boosters

As you've gotten older, have you noticed that you often find yourself marching around the house in a huff, searching for misplaced car keys or eyeglasses, or you just cannot remember the name of that new neighbor you met when walking the dog?

It's frustrating, to be sure, but not inevitable -- and there are things you can do to help keep your memory sharp, according to Harvard Medical School.

"Most people get a little more forgetful with aging, but there are some simple things you can do to prevent memory slips and help your brain to learn and remember better," says Dr. Anne Fabiny, chief of geriatrics at Cambridge Health Alliance and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Fabiny suggests the following tips and tricks:

• Follow routines, such as leaving your car keys, glasses, and cellphone in the same place every day so that finding them becomes a "no brainer."

• Slow down and pay attention to what you are doing to give your brain's memory systems enough time to create an enduring memory.

• Avoid distracting or noisy environments and multi-tasking -- the major memory busters in today's fast-paced society.

• Get enough sleep, reduce stress and check with your doctor to see if any of your medications affect memory -- all potential memory spoilers.

Wet dry cleaning?

Fall is here -- time to get out the cashmere sweaters, wool jackets and boots.

But if your favorite autumn wardrobe staples could use a little freshening up, consider skipping the dry cleaner in favor of a newer, more eco-friendly option: wet cleaning, says website FabFitFun. Before you say no to the unknown, learn the benefits of wet over dry cleaning.

Traditional dry cleaning scrubs your favorite "dry clean only" garments with perchloroethylene, a chemical that the EPA has listed as a potential carcinogen.

Wet "dry" cleaning eliminates the use of potentially harmful chemicals by substituting them with biodegradable detergents or liquid CO2 and running clothes through specialized equipment.

Check out your neighborhood dry cleaner for this new safer method.

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