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DEAR ABBY: I am a single woman in my 60s who lives alone. One of my greatest fears is developing dementia. Because there is no one living with me, there would be no one around to notice changes in my behavior.

I am still able to balance my checkbook, do my grocery shopping, drive myself to the dentist's office, etc. If I ever need assisted living, how would I recognize the fact so I could make other arrangements before requiring someone else to make them for me? -- GROWING OLDER IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR GROWING OLDER: Most single women have friends with whom they interact on a regular basis. If you didn't recognize the signs that you were slipping, one or more of your friends probably would.

With our population living longer, concerns about age-related dementia are growing. Because this is one of your concerns, discuss it with your physician and request to be evaluated for signs of dementia during your annual physicals.

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