10 Ways for Seniors to Prevent Dementia
By Holly Klamer
According to Senior Living Help, memory care issues can come in various forms which include dementia and Alzheimer’s. In the US alone, 7.7 million new cases of dementia are diagnosed every year. Statistics also show that over 47 million people are living with dementia worldwide. So how can seniors prevent dementia? Here are top ten ways for seniors to prevent dementia...
- Switch to MIND Diet
MIND diet refers to a fusion of two diets which includes the Mediterranean diet and the DASH Diet. According to research, the MIND diet has cognitive and mental health benefits in regard to memory issues. A study indicated that seniors who followed MIND diet rigorously reduced the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Ensure Heart Conditions are Treated Immediately
Health issues that affect the cardiovascular system can potentially damage the brain. In fact, research shows that diabetes and high blood pressure are leading factors for dementia. As such, seniors with heart health issues need to make sure they treat them adequately and on time.
- Protect the Head to Avoid Head Injuries
Acute brain injury is also a leading factor when it comes to dementia in seniors. One can sustain head injuries due to falls or when involved in an accident. In case of accidental fall, seniors should see the doctor immediately and make sure treatment is sought.
- Proper Sleeping Habits for Seniors
A study by National Institute of Health indicated that losing just one night of sleep leads to an immediate increase in beta-amyloid levels. This is the protein that is responsible for memory issues in seniors. Caregivers should ensure the seniors get enough sleep to prevent memory issues.
- Keep Learning to Keep the Brain Active
As seniors memorize a piece of information, the brain creates new synapses. This is vital for senior’s brain health and it helps to prevent dementia. Thus, seniors should set aside some time every day to read and learn new skills.
- Regular Exercising
Researchers have found out that those seniors in need of assisted living who still exercised regularly reduced the chances of getting dementia by over 50%. Exercising also lowers further deterioration in those who already show cognitive issues.
- Social Engagements Helps to Prevent Dementia
Human beings will not thrive in isolation and neither will the human brain. Therefore, seniors who are at risk of developing cognitive issues need to be encouraged to stay active in the society. They need to maintain their social network and make sure they visit each other regularly.
- Learn Stress Management
Chronic stress or persistent stress takes a heavy toll on the human brain, leading to shrinkage of the memory area. This hampers nerve cell growth and increases the risk of getting dementia.
- Stop Smoking and Drink in Moderation
One of the most preventable risk factors for Dementia is smoking. Smokers over the age of 65 have 80% higher risk of developing cognitive issues compared to those who don’t smoke. In addition, seniors should be advised to quit drinking or moderate their drinking habits.
- Control Blood Pressure and Watch your Weight
High blood pressure and high cholesterol increase the chances of developing dementia. Controlling the blood pressure and watching your weight goes a long way in fighting dementia.
With the above ten tips, seniors can effectively fight memory issues. Caregivers should keep encouraging seniors to do everything they can to prevent dementia.