SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With lifetime appointments, U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate and district court judges face a unique job hazard: age-related mental decline.

The problem is often dealt with quietly by other judges or family members. But one federal circuit is taking it head on. The 9th Circuit, which includes federal courts in California, Idaho and seven other Western states, is trying to get its judges to think about potential mental decline, plan for it and handle it appropriately if it comes up.

The circuit holds regular seminars led by neurological experts to teach its chief judges about the signs of cognitive impairment. It has also set up a hotline where court staff and judges can get advice about dealing with mental decline in colleagues.