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Seven Ways to Help Prevent Dementia
Dementia can either be a progressive or chronic mental disorder in which communication is impaired, and behavioral changes occur that impact everyday activities. Dementia inevitably affects the 15 million caregivers who provide unpaid care for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease too making it important for caregivers to help those with dementia take steps towards prevention. No matter what age you are, you can start preventing dementia, by taking steps now to help improve the quality of your life as you age.
Here are seven ways to help prevent dementia:
1. Stop Smoking – It’s well known that smoking has a multitude of negative effects on our health, but did you know that by quitting the habit of smoking, you can help prevent dementia? Studies have shown that non-smokers are less at risk for dementia and vascular conditions; in addition to other wide spread diseases throughout the body. The Mayo Clinic provides a great resource for tips to quick smoking and resist tobacco cravings.
2. Maintain a healthy weight, by eating a balanced diet – Eating a healthy diet has a lot of benefits on both your body and your brain. There are tons of nutrients that you can incorporate into your diet that act as food for your brain – including dark leafy greens, and fish that are rich in vitamins. Start small by using nutrition tools or watching videos on how to prepare healthy meals to build a nutrition plan that works for you.
3. Lower your blood pressure – Vascular dementia is typically caused by strokes since anything that damages your network of blood vessels can damage blood vessels in your brain. A great way to prevent strokes, and in turn the risk of vascular dementia, is to make an effort to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. Maintain an active lifestyle and eat a healthy diet in order to lower your risk of vascular dementia.
4. Exercise – Adding exercise to your daily routine can sometimes be intimidating if you’re just starting to get back into shape, but Alzheimer’s research shows that physical exercise can cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in half! An added bonus of regular exercise and eating a balanced diet, is maintaining a healthy weight – which can benefit your overall health.
5. Brain Games – One fun and entertaining way to help prevent dementia is by playing games for the brain. Some brain games have been scientifically proven to help prevent dementia and memory loss by increasing focus, attention, and building memories through brain teasers developed by Posit Science like Quick Match and Make A Pair that are found on the GreatCall Jitterbug5.
6. Continued learning – Similar to brain games, the challenge of learning something new like a skill, hobby, or even a new language can help stimulate the brain. Even reading a new book or taking free online classes can keep you mentally active and provide something new to share the next time you communicate with your friends and family since social interaction is another way to help prevent dementia.
7. Be socially active – Making a point to interact with friends and family in any social setting can help boost cognitive health and memory. There’s a variety of ways you can partake in a social lifestyle: volunteer, take a group class at the gym, join a Meetup group, talk to family and friends on the phone or through video chat, or find other people in your neighborhood or group of friends that share a similar hobby and do it together.