According to projections, 14 million people will live with Alzheimer’s by 2050. Given the high financial costs of ongoing treatment and personal costs for family caretakers, all of us should look for ways to reduce our risks.
Fortunately, projections aren’t prophecy and dementia isn’t an absolute. Like many conditions, lifestyle choices can influence whether you develop the disease and when.
So, when it comes to the prevention of dementia, what can you do? Read on to learn a few key habits that can potentially prevent dementia.
Get More Exercise
Regular exercise offers you many benefits, like better cardiovascular health and overall mood. It turns out that exercise can also help reduce your chances of dementia.
You’ll want a mix of cardio and resistance exercises, such as walking, swimming, push-ups or working in a garden. Of course, it’s not as easy to get regular exercise during the cold winter months.
A few possible alternatives include resistance bands, gym memberships, and exercise videos to get the exercise you need no matter what the weather looks like outside.
Limit How Much Alcohol You Drink
It shouldn’t come as any surprise, but drinking too much increases your chances of dementia. It can harm your memory and the blood vessels in your brain.
The obvious question is “how much alcohol is safe?” The research doesn’t offer a clear answer.
The current advice more or less boils down to drink in moderation, but less is better than more.
Exercise isn’t just for your body. Exercising your brain through learning helps prevent dementia. It’s also a great time for learning because there are so many options.
You can always sign up for a traditional class at a local college or community center. You can learn independently by reading, watching documentaries, or taking online open university classes.
Looking for a new skill? You can often find online training programs that get you started for free.
Socializing can offer you the best of all worlds if you plan a little. Simply interacting with others exposes you to new information and boosts your sense of well-being. A better sense of well-being increases the odds that you’ll engage in healthy behaviors.
You can also use socializing as a means of reinforcing other healthy activities. You can plan learning opportunities, such as taking classes with a friend or group of friends. You can enlist a friend as your exercise buddy.
Your friends can also help you stick with goals, like eating right or jogging a 5K to prevent dementia later on.
Like many conditions, there are genetic factors that can make you more susceptible to dementia. You can, however, take steps to encourage the prevention of dementia. The good news is that the steps you take to prevent dementia are the same steps you take for lifelong health.
For more on this subject, read our blog “Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease: What to Look For.”
Seniors Helping Seniors is a unique care program that matches seniors to other seniors in need of assistance, to continue activities they enjoy and remain independent and safe in familiar surroundings.
If you’re looking for assistance for yourself, a loved one, or you are a senior interested in providing care, please contact us or call us at 800-481-2488 to learn more.