A common concern among older adults and their family caregivers is the possibility that the older adult may develop dementia. Many diseases can be prevented with lifestyle changes that improve overall health. Can the same be said of dementia? Possibly—and the suggested steps for dementia prevention certainly can’t hurt! In fact, they may improve health in other areas and increase the senior’s happiness. Below are some of the step’s experts suggest may reduce the chances of your aging relative getting dementia.
Control Heart Disease Risk Factors
Some studies have shown that about 80 percent of people who die with Alzheimer’s also have cardiovascular disease. Some of the risk factors for dementia are the same as those for cardiovascular disease. Managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol can also reduce the risks for dementia. In addition, other heart-healthy habits, like not smoking, are beneficial.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Some people say that Alzheimer’s disease is “the diabetes of the brain.” That’s because the insulin resistance and inflammation associated with diabetes harms neurons in the brain and make it harder for brain cells to communicate with one another. Eating a balanced diet can help to reduce brain-harming inflammation. The aspects of a good diet are:
• Eating less added sugar and refined carbohydrates, like white flour, pasta, and white rice.
• Avoid trans fats and cut down on saturated fats.
• Including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
• Eat foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish.
• Limit sodium.
Maintain Social Connections
When older adults are socially isolated, their brains suffer. Research indicates that older adults who spend most of their time alone stand a higher chance of developing dementia. Helping your senior family member to stay involved with friends, family, and the community can help them to be happier and stave off mental decline. Some ways older adults can remain socially active are:
• Connecting to others through email, phone, and social media.
• Going to the local senior center.
• Meet with friends at least weekly.
• Go on outings.
• Have a weekly family dinner.
Senior care can help older adults to take steps to protect themselves from dementia. Senior care providers can cook healthy meals that eliminate the need for your aging relative to choose easy to prepare foods, like frozen dinners, that contain a lot of salt and fat. Senior care providers can also remind the older adult to take medications for controlling blood pressure and cholesterol. And, a senior care provider can offer companionship and social connection just by visiting. In addition, they can drive the older adult to places where they can see friends, volunteer, and talk to other people.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Bellaire, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.