Dementia is one of the most common conditions that are faced by seniors. Many may think that it is a specific disease like cancer or pneumonia, but dementia is actually a general term for declined cognitive ability. Cognitive ability refers to the ability to engage in activities like making decisions, being able to remember names, faces, events or recall facts, or being able to think and make sound decisions. On the other hand, Alzheimer’s disease is a specific disease that is the most common cause of dementia.
Even though it is generally associated with the elderly, dementia is not an inherent part of ageing. In other words, it is possible to live to a ripe old age without experiencing any significant loss in your cognitive ability. One of the ways you can lower the risk of dementia is to practice memory care. Read on to find out more about how memory care for dementia can help you maintain healthy cognitive functions.
Exercising for about 150 minutes at a moderate intensity every week can actually lower the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50%! Even if you or your loved one has already started experiencing cognitive decline, exercising will still help with further progression as it helps stimulate brain activity in forming and retaining connections.
This should come as no surprise since Alzheimer’s disease is sometimes also referred to as “diabetes of the brain”. This link is due to the connection between inflammation, insulin resistance and the impact on communication between brain cells. Simply put, if a person has healthy eating habits that minimize inflammation, the brain will be better protected against dementia. This can be done by cutting down on sugar, having a healthy intake of omega-3 fats, as well as avoiding heavy alcohol consumption.
Vascular health refers to the condition and well-being of your circulatory system, inclusive the state of your veins, blood vessels, and arteries. By maintaining habits that are beneficial for your cardiovascular health, it can also improve your blood pressure levels, chances of stroke and even heart attacks. How is this relevant to dementia? Studies have shown that the brain and heart benefit from the same conditions as well as a steady circulatory flow.
Maintaining quality sleep is extremely important to preventing the onset of early dementia. This is because sleep has been linked to processes that are necessary for memory formation as well as other forms of cognitive maintenance. More importantly, sleep is crucial for the body to rest properly and flush out toxins developed during the day. Whether it is due to sleeping disorders or poor sleep hygiene, it is important to get help to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
By nature, humans are social creatures, and we enjoy the chosen companies of others. In particular, our brains do well when they are not isolated from others. This does not mean that you have to be friends with everyone within a 10-mile radius, it simply means that having a strong network of people you like and trust can help prevent negative feelings and even motivate you to take part in senior living programs.
There is a common saying that if you do not use your brain, you will lose it. Unfortunately, that holds some credit. It is important to continually participate in activities that challenge your brain and pushes you to learn new things. Not only does it prevent immediate stagnancy but will also continue to have long-lasting benefits in the long-run. Mental stimulation does not just refer to riddles and math questions, it can be as easy as choosing to take different routes home, trying new things, or even varying your eating habits!
Chronic stress, or stress that occurs over a long period of time, can lead to decline in key memory areas and cell growth. Unfortunately, this can increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease due to the detrimental effects on the brain. If you are heavily stressed about your current living circumstances or due to the need for medical support, it is always possible to ask for help and consider alternatives like personal care.