One of the biggest uncontrollable risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia is advancing age, which is why it is common that as we get older, we fear that we are more likely to have these conditions, wonder if there is any way to prevent them and how to and we began to be interested in memory care.
The number of people affected by dementia is expected to exceed 130 million in 2050, according to the 2015 world report by Alzheimer’s Disease International, which will mean a cost that our societies will hardly bear.
Research published in Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia (2017) evaluated the evidence from clinical trials on changes in behavior and lifestyle to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease or age-related cognitive decline. The review found “encouraging but inconclusive” evidence for three behavioral changes (called interventions): physical activity, blood pressure control, and cognitive training. The findings mean that interventions in these areas are promising enough for researchers to keep studying them to learn more.
Although there is no effective treatment or proven prevention method for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, in general, leading a healthy lifestyle can help address the risk factors that have been associated with these diseases:
Check your blood glucose (sugar):
Higher than normal glucose levels can lead to diabetes and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, cognitive decline, and dementia.
Control high blood pressure:
High blood pressure, or hypertension, harms the heart, blood vessels, and brain, increasing the risk of stroke and vascular dementia.
Get treatment for hearing problems:
Hearing loss can affect cognition and dementia risk in older adults, making it difficult to interact with others. Protect yourself from loud sounds to help prevent hearing loss and use hearing aids (hearing aids) if you need them.
Stay physically active:
Physical activity has many health benefits, including helping prevent overweight and obesity, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Eat a varied and balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, which includes extra virgin olive oil, legumes, nuts, fruit, vegetables, and fish.
Stay mentally active:
Offering challenges to the mind helps us maintain our cognitive reserve, learn new skills, do crossword puzzles, read, sign up for workshops or courses.
Take care of your physical and mental health:
Get recommended medical checkups, manage chronic health problems like depression or high cholesterol, and regularly see your health care provider.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for both the mind and the body. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Avoid head injuries:
Take steps to prevent falls and head injuries, such as making sure your home is fall-safe and wearing shoes with non-slip soles that fully support your feet. Consider participating in fall prevention programs online or in your area. Also, wear seat belts and helmets to protect yourself from concussions and other brain injuries.
Interacting with other people helps us keep neural connections active and is key to our well-being.
Drink less alcohol:
Drinking too much alcohol can cause falls and worsen medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, memory loss, and mood disorders.
Quitting smoking can improve your health at any age, as well as reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and lung disease.
With everything said above, we know that memory care is also linked to keeping our body working in optimal conditions and with a correct diet. Remember that the best ally for prevention is quality medical care and assistance.
At Atlas Senior Living we know how important it is to care for our residents, to prevent and treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia related to old age. Learn about our programs and the options we have in our communities.