Reducing Risk for Dementia –
Unfortunately, there is not yet a known cure for dementia. Researchers have identified various genes they believe are associated with dementia, but nothing definitive has been found. Without a cause, there is no cure. When it comes to dementia, experts agree that what’s good for your heart is also good for your brain. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent heart attacks and stroke, which are risk factors for the two most common types of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
The good news concerning dementia is that you can take action to reduce your risk of developing it. Here are five ways to accomplish that:
1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
A diet high in salt, saturated fat, and sugar, but low in fiber, increases your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. All of these have been linked to dementia.
2. Keep an eye on your weight
Being overweight or obese can increase your blood pressure and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Both have been linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising, and weighing yourself regularly can help keep your weight in the healthy range.
3. Exercise regularly
A lack of regular physical activity increases your risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, all of which have been linked to a higher risk for dementia. Seniors who don’t exercise are also more likely to develop memory problems.
To help prevent this, try doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, such as brisk walking, dancing, swimming, or cycling. You should also incorporate strength training into your routine at least twice a week, like yoga or gardening.
4. Quit smoking and Drinking
The health risks of excessive drinking and smoking are well documented. Over-indulging in alcohol (2 drinks per day) increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, and can damage your central nervous system, including your brain.
Smoking narrows your arteries, which can raise your blood pressure. It also increases your risk of heart disease and several types of cancer, including lung cancer.
If you smoke, try to quit. For more information on quitting, visit the American Cancer Society website.
5. Watch for depression
It appears that having untreated depression increases your risk for dementia. However, depression can also be a symptom of dementia.
Because the relationship between depression and dementia is complex, talk to your doctor if you think you may be experiencing depression. Low mood, anxiety, and depression will affect your ability and desire to be socially active and engage in mentally stimulating activities that can help prevent dementia.
Family Resource Home Care Helps With Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care
If you have a loved one who has developed dementia or may have a risk for dementia and you’ve chosen to keep them at home, we can help. Our caregivers are trained in dementia and Alzheimer’s care, and they help keep seniors safe at home.
Contact us today and let us know how we can help. Whether you need around-the-clock care for your senior loved one, respite care to give you a much-needed break, or anything in between, we’re here for you and your family.
Ask About Our Career Opportunity
Due to the high demand for senior care, Family Resource Home Care is currently hiring caregivers. Contact us today about a rewarding career with the Pacific Northwest’s most prominent independent home care agency. You can view our current openings here.