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Reducing Your Risk of Dementia

June 17, 2015

Of all the ailments that old age can bring, dementia is, arguably, one of the most difficult to deal with.  It's not a specific disease, but rather describes a number of symptoms involving the decline of mental ability, including memory loss, that interferes with daily life. Alzheimer's is the most common manifestation. While there is no specific medical treatment to cure dementia, and factors like age and genetics cannot be changed, there are a number of preventative measures that can be taken to aid in memory care for seniors. 

 

Proper Nutrition and a Brain Healthy Diet

Proper nutrition is one of the easiest steps any person can take towards preventing illness.  For the prevention of dementia, research suggests that certain foods already proven to help the heart and body have similar benefits for the brain. Nutritionists suggest a diet that includes lots of vitamin and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and lean meats, and a limited intake of saturated fats.  Some of the super foods that are particularly beneficial for brain health and memory include blueberries, wild salmon, avocados, beans, nuts, seeds, pomegranate juice, and dark chocolate.

Regularly Exercise the Brain

Just like any of the muscles in our bodies, the brain needs exercise to stay quick and alert.  Many seniors find themselves winding down after retirement, but with less things to do the brain loses its energy and becomes an easy victim for dementia.  This is why one of the key preventative measures is continuing to participate in complex and challenging mental activities as people age.  The more often one does the complex activity, the more exercise the brain gets.  Whether it's picking up a hobby, like painting or woodwork, learning a new language, doing crossword puzzles, playing an instrument, or going to a museum, the point is to keep the brain busy. 

Don't Stop Being Socially Engaged

Maintaining social engagement is another step older folks can take to help reduce their risk of dementia.  Keeping up with friends and family not only helps the brain stay active, but it also gives enjoyment and purpose to this stage of life. Seniors can use their extra time to learn new and fun skills like dancing, volunteering, taking care of grandchildren, catching up with friends, and traveling either close to or far from home.

Keep the Body Active

It's not just the brain that needs to stay active; the body also should be kept physically active as we age.  The older we get, the harder it is to stay active and maintain muscle mass, leaving our bodies more vulnerable to disease. Staying active, however, isn't impossible and those who do so will often reduce their risk for serious medical issues, including heart disease, stroke, and, by association, dementia.  Researchers have also concluded that even small amounts of exercise, like a short walk, are good for brain health and therefore reduce the risk for developing dementia. 

Memory Care and Senior Living Communities

For many seniors, living alone can become difficult or even impossible if they do begin to show signs of dementia or other debilitating medical issues.  However, there are many options for senior healthcare services, including nonprofit senior care and memory care programs that can help.  These programs can help reduce the burden of daily tasks like cooking and cleaning, allowing the person to focus on different activities that are physically, mentally, and socially stimulating.  

Suffering from memory-impairing conditions is never easy, but the memory care services from Concordia Lutheran Ministries can help you overcome the common obstacles of these conditions. At Concordia’s Memory Care locations, our caring staff and personnel are always able to lend a helping hand to help you stay safe and flourish with every day that passes. Call Concordia today to arrange for a personal tour of one of our locations and discover how our staff is here to help add simplicity to your everyday life.

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