As people age and enter their golden years, it is only natural that their body and mind are not as sharp as they used to be. One example of this is forgetfulness, as it is normal to not remember things as easily above a certain age. However, forgetfulness is something people get concerned about for elderly individuals because of the potential for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
The disease is feared because of how it steals your memories and makes it difficult for people to function every day. For loved ones, it can be just as scary to watch a relative struggle and lose their sense of themselves and their family. However, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be avoided.
If you take care of yourself and live a healthy lifestyle, then you help strengthen and maintain your brain health and cognitive abilities. By doing this, you may prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Continue reading for more details on how you can prevent dementia as you age.
1. Eat Well
Your brain is better protected when you follow a healthy diet because good eating habits decrease inflammation in your brain. With less inflammation, brain cells can communicate with one another better.
Eat Enough Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of everyone’s diets, and they can help people avoid Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. These foods provide essential vitamins and protective antioxidants. The best way to get the most nutrients from fruits and vegetables is to consume ones of various colors. For example, eating leafy green vegetables, carrots, yellow peppers, apples, and various types of berries covers a lot of colors and provides you with a lot of nutrients.
Minimize Sugar Intake
We all need sugar to survive but consuming too much sugar is harmful for your health. Too much sugar will cause your blood sugar to spike dramatically. When this happens, your brain becomes inflamed which makes it vulnerable. Knowing this, reduce your sugar intake. A lot of foods, including bread and sauces, contain hidden sugar, so watch out for that. Even low-fat products can contain excess amounts of hidden sugar.
Consume Healthy Fats
Not all fats are bad. In fact, you should consume healthy fats that are rich in omega-3s. These healthy fats reduce beta-amyloid plaques, which might help with Alzheimer’s and dementia prevention. You can get these healthy fats from mackerel, salmon, seaweed, tuna, and other cold-water fish.
2. Exercise Regularly
With regular exercise, you give yourself a better chance at preventing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In fact, per the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, your risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreases by as much as 50 percent if you exercise on a regular basis. This is because exercise allows your brain to better maintain new and existing connections. If you already have cognitive issues, then exercise can slow down the deterioration and progression of such.
Ideally, you should try to do moderate intensity exercises for a minimum of 150 minutes every week, doing a mix of strength training and cardio. It is also helpful to do balance and coordination exercises, because it will help keep you agile and limit your chance of falling. When you decrease your falling risk, you also decrease the risk of suffering head injuries and harming your brain.
3. Be Social
Humans, in general, are innately social beings. Because of this, our brains require socialization. This might even provide protection against dementia. Knowing this, take the time to be social. Some people, however, are more sociable than others, and that’s normal. But no matter whether you are a social butterfly or an introvert, regular socialization is important. This is especially important because people might be more isolated as they age, leading to feelings of loneliness or even depression.
If you need ideas on what to do to socialize, consider signing up for activities and events at your local community or recreation center, visiting museums and parks, or scheduling regular meetups with friends.
4. Exercise Your Brain
Just as you need to do regular physical exercise, you also need to work out your brain to protect yourself from developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Doing things like learning new subjects and challenging your brain will provide the mental stimulation needed to maintain good cognitive functions.
Playing chess and card games or doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku are easy ways to exercise your brain. If you want more of a challenge, consider expanding your knowledge on a subject you already know, or learn something completely new. Pick up a new hobby like painting or learn a new language.
Engaging in memorization activities can also strengthen your memory, helping with dementia prevention.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Home Care Services
If you have a loved one who struggles with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, then it can be tough to coordinate care for them. Alzheimer’s and dementia patients require specialized care, and their loved ones are not always able to provide that for them. However, it is best that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients receive care at home due to their comfort and familiarity with the environment.
Assisting Hands Home Care can help through the Alzheimer’s and dementia home care and non-medical home health care services we provide to individuals in need in Waukesha, Pewaukee and neighboring areas in Wisconsin. Patients are assigned specially trained dementia caregivers who will help them with everyday living and provide dementia care. They know how to handle agitation and mood swings and will engage patients in memory care exercises that slow down memory loss. With help from our dementia and Alzheimer’s caregivers, you can trust that your loved one will be safe, comfortable, and cared for.