Dementia is an extremely debilitating mental disorder that affects millions of Americans every year. The exact ways by which dementia develops are unknown but science has learned a lot about the disease in recent years. Considering some of the latest research can help seniors better understand effective preventative measures to lower their risk of dementia as much as possible.
Ways to Be Proactive
As many as 7.7 million new dementia cases are diagnosed every year. As with many major medical concerns, the best treatment is to never have to deal with it. Science believes there are many genetic factors involved with dementia but also recognize many environmental and lifestyle factors as well. Doing what you can, while you can, to help protect yourself and loved ones is a great action to take. There are various ways through which seniors can prevent dementia. They include the following:
Fruit and Vegetable Juices
A 2006 study found out that seniors who consume fruit and vegetable juices four times a week cut the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s by over 70%. Seniors should be encouraged to take a glass of fruit and vegetable juice at least three times in a week, provided their doctor signs off.
Vitamin K is often referred to as the “forgetting vitamin”. It plays a crucial role in anti-aging and helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. It can be consumed through the green leafy vegetables or caregivers can introduce seniors to the vitamin K supplements. Note that Vitamin K is not found in most multivitamins and is commonly paired with Vitamin D.
Anxiety and stress have been linked to dementia development in seniors. In fact, there are several studies that have linked these to Alzheimer’s, especially in persons who have been at the risk of developing these conditions. In a recent study, it was found out that persons with cognitive impairment reported high levels of anxiety and were more likely to develop dementia. Seniors should be encouraged to find ways of fighting stress so as to reduce the chances of developing dementia.
As seniors exercise, these exercises lead to the preservation of the volume of the hippocampal region. This is the part of the brain that is mostly attacked leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. While all forms of exercise may not be possible, some low-mobility options are swim aerobics, walking, and yoga.
Engage in Fun Activities
Fun activities help seniors to keep their brain engaged. This encourages the growth of new brain cells and may help stave off the natural progression of dementia in high-risk patients. On the other hand, there is some recent research that suggests the pathway towards encouraging neurogenesis may not be as easy as once imagined.
Eating Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The foods that are high in Omega-3 Fatty acids help in controlling blood clotting and also help in brain cell membrane development. They help slow dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. These foods include fish, nuts, fatty vegetables such as avocado or artichoke, and many seeds such as flax seed.
In 2014, the World Health Organization released a report that indicated smokers are at a higher risk of developing dementia compared to those who don’t smoke. Seniors who smoke should be advised to stop smoking as soon as possible. Honestly though, who really needs to be told that smoking is bad for their health? It’s a no-brainer but still should be heavily considered for anyone that still smokes.
Reduced Sugar Intake
The number one approach to fighting dementia is ensuring your brain remains healthy. Diabetes has been linked to memory issues and some scientists have even called dementia and Alzheimer’s the third type of diabetes. This shows that seniors should be encouraged to manage their sugar intake. Using sugar substitutes such as stevia or monk fruit extract can help offset typical dietary sugar consumption.
A good sleep reduces stress and leads to an increase in cortisol, both of which are risk factors when it comes to the development of memory problems. Seniors who have enough sleep have a lower risk of developing dementia.
With knowledge on what the dementia risk factors are, it is possible that the number of new dementia cases will decrease. Seniors with dementia should be encouraged to seek dementia care facilities. These are dedicated facilities offering assistance to individuals with dementia that help ease the burden on family and caregivers caring for those who are suffering from dementia.
Dementia is no laughing matter and affects millions each year. Supplements such as Nootropics can help to mitigate some risks. One of the most powerful considerations to be made is that of what one eats and how often one exercises. These aren’t the flashy science-finds-a-cure-all type actions but they continue to demonstrate, time and time again, the ability to help address many major health issues, including dementia.