The elderly population is growing, and as a result, more people are expected to develop dementia. Yet, numerous studies have indicated that dementia prevalence rates, or new cases in a community over time, are on the rise. As per specialists, Alzheimer’s risk does not just increase with age but can also begin in the brain years before any symptoms appear, frequently as early as middle life. That said, it is, therefore still not too early to begin meeting the needs of your brain health.
Is There a Way to Prevent or Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
Undoubtedly, one of the main worries that a lot of us face as we age is Alzheimer’s disease. Particularly if you have seen an older loved one suffers from dementia, the idea of getting the condition might be scary. The reality is considerably more reassuring than what you may have been taught, which may have suggested that everything you can do is sit and hope for a medical cure. While encouraging studies indicate that there are actions you may take to both lower your likelihood of exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer’s as well as other dementias and even to slow the rate of deterioration once you’ve all been diagnosed.
Yet, you may enhance your likelihood of preserving your cognitive abilities and lifelong brain health by recognizing and regulating your individual risk factors and making easy yet significant lifestyle changes.
10 Effective Strategies to Lower Your Chances of Developing Dementia
While it is true there’s currently no known cure or effective preventative measure for Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias, adopting a healthy lifestyle generally may help lower the risk factors associated with or linked to these conditions.
1. Frequent Physical Activity
Several more health advantages of physical activity include lowering blood pressure and preventing hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke. Physical activity also increases the brain’s capacity to preserve existing connections while also helping to form new ones, protecting against Alzheimer’s as well as other forms of dementia. To do this, strive for even a minimum of 150 minutes or more per week of moderate-intensity workouts. Also, the best approach to doing these workouts combines cardio exercises with strength training.
2. Encourage Social Interaction
Social interaction and engagement in group activities can alleviate loneliness and social exclusion, which are associated with increased dangers for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Being that humans are extremely sociable creatures, both us and our brains do not function well in isolation. Having established that, make developing and upholding a solid social circle a primary concern, like that of dementia friendly groups. Being socially active may even guard against manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia throughout old age.
3. Practice Clean, Healthy Eating Habits
Neuronal damage and impaired brain cell communication are two symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease brought on by inflammation and insulin resistance. Also, a rising collection of studies indicates a significant connection between metabolic diseases and the signal processing systems, and Alzheimer’s disease is commonly referred to as “brain diabetes,” according to this analysis. Nevertheless, you can aid in reducing inflammation and defending your brain by simply altering your dietary habits and food preferences.
4. Keep Your Weight in Check
Indeed, carrying extra weight increases your risk factor of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. In addition to this, a significant study indicated that individuals who were overweight or obese in adulthood had a two- to three-fold increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future. Having said that, shedding weight can positively and substantially impact your brain.
5. Engage in Mental Exercise
There are many things you may do to stay mentally active, such as learning, engaging in board games, crafts or picking a new pastime, acquiring new abilities, volunteering, and interacting. Throughout our life, it is crucial to keep our minds active and engaged by learning new things. No matter if you want to avoid dementia from developing or just slow it down. Also, the best benefits come from activities that require coordination across several tasks or communication. Make time every single day to challenge your brain with new information, work on your memorization skills, and appreciate tactical games, puzzles, and riddles.
6. Ensure a Healthy Sleep Routine
Regular sleep patterns and the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are linked in a number of ways. For one, you may be more susceptible to acquiring or aggravating Alzheimer’s disease symptoms if you have sleep deprivation every night and it slows your thinking, affects your mood, or both. It seems to be essential to get enough sleep for your mental and physical well-being. Sleep for a minimum of seven to eight hours every night, and if you find yourself having trouble falling or staying asleep or suspect you might be suffering from a sleep disorder, speak with your physician.
7. Manage Your Stress Factors
Stress that is prolonged or chronic can hurt the brain, affecting an important memory area, impeding the creation of new nerve cells, and raising the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Easy, simple stress relief techniques, however, can reduce its negative effects and safeguard your brain. Stress management calls for consistent effort, so try to relax and counteract the adverse consequences of stress by practising relaxation exercises like yoga, progressive relaxation of muscles, and meditation.
8. Keep an Eye on Your Vascular Health
Manage High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, which is often identified as hypertension, harms the cardiovascular, arteries, and brain and raises the possibility of having a stroke and developing vascular dementia. The likelihood of dementia may be decreased by managing blood pressure levels with medication and adopting a healthy lifestyle, including exercising and giving up smoking.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes can result from abnormally high blood sugar or glucose levels, which also raise the dangers of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cognitive decline. However, the amount of sugar in the blood can be controlled by eating a balanced, healthy diet, exercising frequently, quitting smoking, and monitoring glucose levels.
9. Address Hearing Disorders
In elderly adults, hearing loss may have an impact on cognition, and dementia risk, and can make social interaction more challenging. In light of this, guard your ears against harsh noises to help avoid hearing loss and wear hearing aids if required.
10. Cut Back on Alcohol Consumption And Smoking
Alcohol abuse can aggravate medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, strokes, cognitive impairment, and mood disorders as well as cause falls. While moderate consumption of wine may have positive effects on the brain, excessive alcohol use can significantly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and hasten the ageing process of the brain.
Moreover, smoking is among the most avoidable risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. As established, you may boost your wellness and decrease the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, and lung problems at any age by quitting smoking, as the brain experiences enhanced circulation nearly immediately after quitting smoking.
Making the aforementioned lifestyle changes is excellent for your health and is an essential component of making healthy decisions as you age, even though studies cannot say with certainty whether doing so would protect against dementia. Such changes also include being physically active, healthy food choices, and promoting a healthy weight.
Thus, it is indeed necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle at any age to ensure and improve brain health in the long term. To make sure that your senior loved ones are adequately taken care of, do not be reluctant to ask for assistance from dementia nursing homes in Singapore like Retire Genie.