1 out of 3 American seniors passes away due to Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Those reaching senior status often wonder if they are at risk and if there are ways to prevent dementia.
There are millions of seniors living with dementia today, and it is a very difficult journey for anyone walking through it. Dementia can come along with severe memory loss, difficulty completing daily tasks, and communication difficulties.
Many individuals living with dementia are cared for by family members, but even this can put a strain on the caregiver. Others are moved into assisted living facilities, giving them the care they need.
Ways to Prevent Dementia
As we age, there are ways to prevent dementia. Keep reading below for 10 steps you can take today to prevent this disease.
1. Exercise Consistently
Consistent aerobic exercise is one of the best ways to prevent dementia.
Why is this? Aerobic exercise slows down the natural decline of the brain’s hippocampus. This is the part of the brain associated with memory.
Not only does exercise help with preventing dementia, but it’s also great for controlling your weight, improving your heart, and helping your lungs. These are all great things to do as our body continues to age.
Aerobic exercises you should try out include swimming, jogging, skating, and dancing. Do it with friends and family to make it more fun.
2. Eat a Nutritional Diet
Eating a diet that helps your brain will help prevent dementia.
Try adding lots of leafy greens to your diet, and find ways to incorporate different types of beans and lentils into meals. Whole grains and fish are also delicious items to give a try.
Avoid things like saturated fats, too much salt, sugary foods, and animal fat. The occasional run to a fast-food restaurant is okay, but try to cook at home as much as you can.
Don’t forget to be drinking at least six glasses of water per day!
3. Drink Less Alcohol
Too much alcohol increases the chance of brain damage and dementia. If you find you rely on alcohol too much, it’s important to find the right support to help you reduce or quit drinking.
Ways you can lower your use of alcohol include setting a limit of how many drinks you have a week or switching to non-alcoholic drinks for your cravings. Give non-alcoholic sparkling water a try, or look at mocktail recipes online.
Reducing stress in life also helps many people stop drinking as much. Invest in healthy activities to de-stress such as art or yoga.
If you’re stressed over the anxiety of your future, or even the possibility of dementia, use the internet to discover the types of support that are available to you and your loved ones.
4. Lower Your Blood Pressure
Many times, high blood pressure causes blood clots in arteries. If these blood clots are blocking blood flow to the brain, we have higher chances of getting dementia.
Keep a close eye on your blood pressure, especially if you’re over 40 years old. Speak to a doctor if you have concerns regarding your health, and come up with a plan to get your body in better shape.
Great ways to lower your blood pressure include getting adequate sleep, reducing stress, eating a healthier diet, and exercising regularly.
5. Quit Smoking
There’s no one “best way” to prevent dementia, but quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. Your wallet will also be thanking you.
Regularly smoking puts you at a higher risk for not only dementia but also lung cancer and stroke. Giving it up is extremely difficult, but you can choose to seek support from friends and family. You can also talk to someone who’s given it up for tips.
6. Work Out Your Mind
Keeping your mind busy and strong aids in preventing dementia. Plus, who doesn’t love a fun mental challenge?
Challenge your mind by completing puzzles, word games, and card games. You could also try reading new books, learning a new language, or completing academic courses.
If you’re having a hard time doing these things on your own, set up family game nights where everyone can put their brain to the test.
7. Seek Help for Depression
Depression can lead to extreme shrinking and aging of the brain. It’s crucial to find the right support and resources if you’re struggling with this.
Take a look to see what therapists are available in your insurance network. If you’re not able to see a therapist, seek out a local support group that could help address your needs.
Find support in the loved ones around you, and give medication a try if it seems like a good fit for your lifestyle.
8. Manage Your Weight
Obesity leads to many health problems, including dementia and heart-related complications. It’s important to keep your weight in check for a healthy life.
As already mentioned above, a healthy diet and consistent exercise are crucial for weight management. You should also be drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of sleep.
Talk to a personal trainer and nutritionist if you need help developing a weight loss plan.
9. Avoid Brain Injury
As obvious as this tip sounds, many people are putting themselves in the way of danger without even realizing it.
If you’re ever operating a motorcycle or a bike, make sure you’re wearing a helmet at all times. Avoid standing and working at tall heights, especially if you’re weak or clumsy.
Move any items that could cause you to trip to your home. Protecting your brain is important!
10. Strive for Good Health
We know all of these tips sound like a lot to handle. It can be especially difficult to manage if you have a lot of unhealthy habits on your plate right now. Healthy balance is key in the ways to prevent dementia.
Take each day at a time, and make gradual changes to better strive towards good health. Change won’t happen overnight, but you can start making the right choices now.
The Top 10 Ways to Prevent Dementia
There’s no perfect answer to how to prevent memory loss or any other health issue. However, the 10 above tips are great places to start in finding ways to prevent dementia.
Consistent exercise and healthy diets will help keep your brain healthy. Engage in regular brain exercises, and find ways to reduce stress in your life. Seek out the appropriate tools and support to help you in your journey to better health.
For more self-improvement tips, check out the rest of our site. You’ll find plenty of tips on health and happiness.