By Betty Berry, Tuesday, January 18, 2011  Q: I am very concerned about the possibility of memory loss and am seeing more and more written about the need to exercise the brain to help maintain memory. How can I learn more about this subject?

A: Memory loss is of concern to many seniors, and studies show the number of victims is increasing. According to the National Institutes of Health, one in seven Americans 71 or older is living with some level of dementia.

Many seniors worry about whether their “senior moments” are normal aging or Alzheimer’s.

Senior Concerns is offering a half-day seminar, Aging or Alzheimer’s, 9-11:30 a.m. Feb. 5 in the Community Room at Westlake Village City Hall, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive.

Clinical research psychologist Lisa Hayden will lead the presentation, discussing the differences between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Attendees also will learn how exercising the brain can keep it vital and strong, and how physical exercise and good nutrition can have positive effects.

A demonstration of Senior Concerns Dakim System — a brain health software program — will be part of the day’s activities.

Reservations for the presentation can be made by calling 497-0189. This should be a very interesting and well-spent morning.

Q: A while back my neighbor attended a seminar providing information on how to study for the DMV written test. For the first time in many years I will be required to take the written test to renew my driver’s license. Do you know if that seminar is still being offered?

A: Many seniors are surprised to receive a notice that a test is required. The request to appear in person to renew your driver’s license might have been triggered by a number of situations. For example, according to the DMV, drivers cannot renew their license by mail and are required to take written and vision tests if their current license expires after they turn 70.

The seminar you are referring to, Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test?, is offered six times a year at different locations in east Ventura County.

The presentation offers suggestions on how to study for the written test and gives hints on what to do if a road test is in your future.

A handout is provided to assist with studying.

The seminar will be offered from p.m. Jan. 31 by the Seniors Concerns Advocate at the Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Ave. For more information or to make reservations, call 517-6261.

The proposed sites for the remaining 2011 sessions are the Westlake Village Civic Center in March, Simi Valley Senior Center in May, Goebel Senior Center in Thousand Oaks in July, then back to the Moorpark Active Adult Center in September and Westlake Village Civic Center in November.

Details on future dates can be obtained by calling the Senior Advocate’s office at 495-6250.

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Feb. 2: Senior Congress VII will present “Aging in Place — Transitions and Choices,” 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church, 5801 Kanan Road, Westlake Village. For reservations, e-mail or call 818-880-1054.

— Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362; call 495-6250 or e-mail (please include your telephone number). You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.

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