If you have ever witnessed a loved one fall victim to Alzheimer’s disease, you know how cruel it can be. It’s a disease that can strike at any time, and anyone can be a victim. However, one is not necessarily powerless against it. Research in the field of Alzheimer’s and Dementia has proposed a number of factors which we ourselves can control to reduce the likelihood of developing dementia and adopt a healthy lifestyle by making the necessary changes to prevent its development while also improving the overall quality of life.
As research in various medical fields continues to grow, different researches offer varying results, making it difficult to understand what works and what doesn’t. Most of the information provided turns out to be contradictory and it can be quiet difficult to keep up! However, there are several strategies that have been tried and tested throughout the years and offer a solid foundation for measures to reduce the risk of developing dementia.
1. Be Heart-Healthy
It’s already well-known that the leading cause of death in America is heart disease. Luckily, promoting a healthy heart is almost completely in the hands of the concerned individual. The first step is to know the risk factors which are involved in causing poor cardiac health, including smoking, high-fat diets, lack of exercise, etc. One of the main benefits of being heart-healthy is that it lowers the risk of developing memory problems, particularly those that are linked with vascular dementia. Vascular Dementia is known to be caused by heart disease and high blood pressure. The key factors to leading a heart-healthy lifestyle are regular exercise, eating healthy and avoiding alcohol and smoking. This advice may be simple, but it may not necessarily be easy, as old habits die hard. But there’s nothing stopping you from starting!
2. We DO need Education
Research shows that seniors with a higher level of education are at a decreased risk of developing cognitive disorders. Researchers theorize that connections between synapses in people who are well educated are better than those who have a lower level of education. Synapses serve as “cognitive reserves” which apparently help compensate for the rising deficiencies in the brain caused by the various forms of dementia.
3. A Safe Head Leads to a Happy Brain
Seniors who suffer from (or are prone to) Alzheimer’s have an increased risk of suffering from head trauma as a result of falls, car accidents, limited mobility, vision problems, or physical activities. Seniors need to make sure they are protected at all times. Make sure to take the necessary measures to avoid head injuries.
4. Say No to Alcohol
The most common known dangers that are associated with increased alcohol intake include liver failure and DUI accidents. A lesser known danger of increased alcohol intake is dementia. According to a study published in 2008, alcohol abuse is observed to be second leading cause of dementia in adults in the West (this accounts for about 10% of dementia cases).
Not only do the benefits of an active social life include good health, happiness, and longevity, an active social life is also associated with a decreased risk of dementia.
These five simple steps are the most effective steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing dementia and best of all; they’re not that hard to follow. All it takes is a little determination, a little support, and a little dedication. Once the positive result comes to the forefront, it’ll be easier to continue on this path.
The nurses at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home senior care needs including how to stay healthy at home with RN managed affordable care. We are a private duty home care agency that provides elder home care serves in the Orlando area, call us at 407-788-9393.