Recent Research Suggests Possibility of Reducing Risk of Dementia

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Those who are genetically predisposed to dementia may still be able to lower their risk of developing the condition. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that several factors may reduce the risk of dementia by 32 percent. Help your aging loved one lower his or her risk with these healthy lifestyle choices.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise isn’t just good for the heart. It’s also great for the brain. Exercising keeps blood vessels in the brain healthy and promotes the delivery of oxygenated blood to the brain. Previous studies found similar results. A 2013 study by researchers at Cardiff University found that those who regularly exercised reduced their risk of cognitive decline and dementia by 60 percent.

Cut Back on Sugar Consumption

Consuming foods high in sugar, such as cakes, soda, and cookies, reduces the number of nutrients in a diet, and it may contribute to developing dementia. Sugar consumption may lead to obesity over time. Obesity causes a number of health-related concerns, such as hypertension and diabetes, and it may also contribute to elevated levels of amyloid proteins in the brain. Amyloid proteins are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Encourage your loved one to eat fruit when he or she is craving something sweet instead of reaching for a sugary treat. 

Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions may find it challenging to prepare healthy meals on their own. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Avoid Salt

Though a small amount of salt is necessary for the human body to function, too much can increase the risk of dementia. Just one teaspoon of salt a day can increase the risk. Eating too much salt can reduce blood flow by up to 28 percent. The reduced blood flow primarily affects the hippocampus and cortex, the parts of the brain responsible for memory. Using fresh herbs can add flavor to food and decrease the amount of salt your loved one eats.

A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors with dementia. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare services. Montgomery families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Stop Smoking

Heavy smoking has long been known to increase the risk of dementia. The study defined heavy smoking as smoking two or more packs per day. Smoking is believed to cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, which can cause dementia to develop. The study found that seniors who stopped smoking reduced their risk of developing dementia to levels equal to those who didn’t smoke. Encourage your loved one to begin by reducing the number of cigarettes he or she smokes each day or joining a smoking cessation program.

Reduce the Amount of Artificially Sweetened Drinks

A 2017 study found that drinking one artificially sweetened beverage a day increased the risk of developing dementia by three times compared to those who drank the beverages only once a week. Researchers urge those who enjoy “diet” beverages to either drink those naturally sweetened with stevia or monk fruit or reduce their consumption of these types of beverages.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Montgomery seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call us at (334) 593-3988 today.

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