According to the Alzheimer's Association, nearly 6 million Americans who are 65+ are currently living with Alzheimer's disease, requiring proper Alzheimer's care. Despite the statistics, Alzheimer's isn't a normal part of aging, and may be genetic. While there is no cure for Alzheimer's, there are many ways to help lower the risk of developing the disease or slow its onset. Here are 6 important ways to cut the risk of dementia.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Shedding excess weight can play an important role in terms of safeguarding your brain. Refined carbs and sugary food items like white rice, white flour, and pasta can increase blood sugar, which might inflame the brain. It's advisable to avoid hidden sugar in all types of packaged food items. Studies show that consuming a Mediterranean diet can minimize the risk of dementia. This implies lots of vegetables, whole grains, beans, and fish, as well as olive oil.
Studies have found that regular physical workouts will minimize your risk of being affected with dementia by up to 50%. Try to get a minimum of 120 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. If possible, make it a point to combine strength training and cardio exercise. Beginners can start with swimming and walking.
Moderate levels of resistance training will help to increase muscle mass and also maintain your brain health. Fortunately, many memory care facilities conveniently provide these amenities for working out.
Stay Socially & Intellectually Active
It's a fact that humans are social animals, and we can't survive in isolation. Staying socially active will help protect against dementia in the long run, so developing and maintaining a network of friends is essential.
You need not be a social butterfly, but it's important to connect face-to-face with those who care for you most. An excellent way to get social later in life is to become a member of a senior living community, where activities and meals can be shared with friends.
Keep Up Mental Stimulation
Individuals who challenge their brains are less likely to develop dementia, and less likely to require dementia care. Participating in activities like playing a musical instrument, studying a foreign language, or learning to sew or paint are great ways to keep your mind sharp.
Memorization techniques and games are another great way to challenge the mind. Creating patterns and rhymes can also strengthen memory connections. Strategy games and brain teasers can likewise provide a fantastic mental workout. Try to solve a crossword puzzle, play some cards, board games, or word games like Sudoku or Scrabble. The greater the challenge, the greater the benefit.
Get a Proper Night's Sleep
One cannot rule out the link between inadequate sleep and the development of dementia. According to studies, the importance of quality sleep has been emphasized in terms of flushing out toxins from the brain. If you are deprived of sleep, you might be at an enhanced risk of being affected with dementia. Therefore, it is important to improve the quality of your sleep.
Your bed should be reserved for getting rest, and you should ban computers and television from your bedroom. Listening to relaxing music, taking a hot bath, performing some light stretches, or dimming the lights can create a relaxing bedtime ritual. Once it becomes a habit, this ritual will send a signal to the brain that it's time for sleep. If insomnia hits, try getting out of bed and relaxing in another room until you feel tired. That way, your brain still associates your bedroom with sleep, not tossing and turning.
Limit Smoking & Alcohol Consumption
Research shows that smoking enhances the risk of developing dementia, particularly in individuals who are more than 65 years of age.
When it comes to alcohol consumption, an occasional glass of beer or wine will not cause you much harm, but heavy alcohol use can result in dementia-like symptoms. As a result, it's best to limit or quit smoking, and enjoy alcoholic beverages in moderation.