Although aging is inevitable and the biggest risk factor for dementia, there are a few lifestyle changes that will help reduce the risk of developing dementia and other similar diseases. None of these factors are scientifically proven to prevent dementia, but living a healthy lifestyle ultimately helps slow the process of dementia development. Because overall health is directly correlated to dementia, all of these changes are important for your present and future health. Streamside Assisted Living has provided a list of changes you can make to have a better quality of life as a senior.
Restrain Smoking and Alcohol Use
Smoking greatly increases the risk for brain diseases such as dementia. Not only will it decrease your risk of dementia, but it will also improve blood vessel, heart, and lung function. Because most cases are usually correlated with addiction, consider using smoking accessories with less nicotine content to wean your way off of the substance. Setting goals is another way to help stop. By setting goals, you are motivating yourself to achieve whatever your goal may be.
Excessive alcohol use can lead to alcohol-related brain damage, making you more susceptible to any brain disease, particularly dementia. It is recommended that adults only drink 2 drinks per day, as any more can elevate risk exponentially. After the recommended intake, alcohol affects the neurotransmitters to your brain leading to memory loss, decreased motor function, and slurred speech. Try to limit your daily drinking limit to two drinks per day, and if you exceed that limit, try to take a day off to let your body recover.
Physical and Mental Health
Your physical health matters too! Staying on top of your doctor, dentist, and prescription visits is important for evaluating health issues like blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. Even an insignificant amount of exercise per day can lead to significant changes. Some friendly exercises for seniors include digging in the garden, brisk walking, or riding a bike. It is recommended that older adults exercise for 150 minutes per week with at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity.
Exercising your mind is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of dementia. Playing strategic board games, puzzles, and card games are few fun activities that will keep your brain operating at a sufficient level. Take it to the next level by challenging others. Communication and competition utilize areas of the brain that may not get as much exposure with aging. If communication and competition are not for you, reading books, watching documentaries, or writing can also increase your mental function.
Avoid Head Injury
If you are not careful, head injury and trauma can be detrimental aspects of dementia. Brain injuries are sensitive to recovery and can take upwards of months to get back to 100 percent, so it is crucial to living a healthier lifestyle while healing. Some main external factors that can slow the process of healing are alcohol, smoking, and unhealthy physical and mental activity. If abused excessively, your brain will never fully recover properly, leading to an increased risk of dementia. It is important to always wear helmets, seatbelts, and shoes with good traction to avoid any implications regarding head injury and trauma.
Keeping a healthy diet will allow your body to get all the key nutrients needed. You don’t have to stop eating sweets, but focusing on purchasing lean meat, low-fat products, and whole grains would greatly improve bodily function. Not only will eating healthier decrease the risk of dementia, but will also slow the process of other conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity. A balanced diet would be something along the lines of:
Protein intake at least twice a week
At least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day
Fiber intake of at least 25 grams per day
At least 7 cups of liquid per 24 hours
Not only will these 6 tips help reduce your risk of developing dementia, but they also improve overall health at any age. Although there is no one best way to prevent dementia and other brain-related diseases, there are encouraging studies to further the world’s knowledge about how to combat it. Streamside’s memory care facility offers a supportive and peaceful atmosphere dedicated to the special care of individuals suffering from dementia, memory loss, and other related issues. For memory care services, questions about dementia, or any other inquiries, contact us!