Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with nearly 5 million Americans diagnosed by 2013. Sadly, that number is expected to increase to around 14 million by 2050. While memory loss in older adults is common, true dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are two more progressive forms of memory loss that can radically affect cognitive behavior and motor skills. Alzheimer’s, specifically, can cause behavioral changes and difficulty with normal language skills.
While there currently is no cure for Alzheimer’s, Bayshore Memory Care offers some simple preventive tips that can help slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Prevention
Each of these measures and lifestyle changes may help to improve memory as you age, and ward off symptoms of dementia. However, it’s important for those age 60 and older to see their doctor for regular check-ups to ensure that no signs of Alzheimer’s disease have developed.
- Get your sleep
Many people believe that as we age we need less sleep. This is false. Even if our sleep patterns change—you used to be an early riser, but now you can’t fall asleep until midnight so you sleep in later—it is still recommended you get seven to eight hours of sleep each night to keep your memory in top shape.
The brain requires interaction to remain sharp. Be sure to schedule time each week to socialize with family and friends. Bayshore, like most retirement communities, offers a calendar of weekly activities and outings that can help you remain active and connected.
- Keep your mind active
Get involved in activities that will actively engage your mind. Rather than sitting around watching TV, take an art or music class at your local community center. Try your hand at a new hobby you’ve always considered learning. Challenge yourself with puzzles or crosswords.
- Eat healthy foods
Being overweight is actually one of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, so it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. Keep sugars to a minimum, and enjoy a diet filled with lean meats, whole grains, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise daily
Exercise increases the flow of blood to the brain, which helps improve cognitive function. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or monotonous. In fact, studies show that moderate exercise for 30 minutes several times a week can actually be more beneficial than intense exercise. Find a fun activity that you enjoy, like walking the family dog, taking a dance class, working out in a water-aerobics class, or simply taking a brisk walk around the mall or the neighborhood. These all count as exercise.
- Manage health issues
Common conditions such as high blood pressure, stress, depression, and high cholesterol may contribute to an increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. By managing new or lingering health issues, you can drastically decrease your risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Bayshore Memory Care in Naples, Fla., is a state-of-the-art community designed solely for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We combine the best of new design, personalized and specialized services, and high-end amenities in a refreshingly elegant setting. Our Heartfelt Connections™ Memory Care Program is nationally recognized for offering people with Alzheimer’s disease, and other diseases that affect the mind, the care and resources they need to maintain physical and emotional well-being and a high quality of life.
The next generation in senior living memory care is right here in Naples—it’s a beautiful place to live. For more information regarding the services offered at Bayshore, visit our Contact Us page, or call 239-213-9370.
Sources: cdc.gov; mayoclinic.org; helpguide.org