Archive for the ‘Dementia’ Category
Estimates by the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation suggest that 30% of dementia related incidents are preventable, meaning that following the tenets of a healthy and happy lifestyle are becoming more important than ever. Prevention of cognitive disorders such as dementia should be emphasised wherever possible in order to improve the quality of life for sufferers.
Effective methods of preventing dementia include a healthy diet, sufficient exercise, adequate mental stimulation and an active social life. Following such advice can be done regardless of age, particularly by those in assisted living programs or care homes.
Diets aimed at preventing the onset of dementia mainly revolve around foods that reduce inflammation through reduction in weight, inflammatory foods and elevating blood sugar, whilst also increasing hermetic responses and significantly improving gut flora. Omega 3 and balanced vitamin and mineral levels are also key to reducing inflammation in the body, and therefore another core aspect of dementia prevention.
Mediterranean diets are a good example of an anti-inflammatory diet, eliminating processed food and promoting an abundance of vegetable and fish consumption. However, the Mediterranean diet should be modified slightly in order to combat dementia. Remove grains as a source of carbohydrate, add an additional probiotic supplement/fermented food and make sure to add cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage or broccoli.
The human body has a truly remarkable ability to build muscle and strength, meaning exercise has no age limit. This was demonstrated by Dr Wayne L. Westcott, whose work involved strength training with elderly people who, prior to participating, were not able to walk without some kind of assistance. Of course, a proper strength training plan should be approved by a doctor first.
Daily aerobic activity is every bit as important and should be a more attainable form of exercise for the elderly. Simple exercises such as walking can help to strengthen blood vessels and the heart, and ought to be performed 5 times a week minimum for at least 30-45 minutes. If this is particularly strenuous then the individual should instead exercise for as long as feel comfortable.
As the saying goes, ‘use it or lose it’. Challenging the brain can really help prevent the onset of dementia. Simple ways of keeping the brain fresh and healthy include performing tasks with the weaker hand, playing puzzle games, or even reading a new author.
With civilization being the result of people converging and working together to build something greater than themselves, social qualities are crucial to our everyday being. Whilst current technology tends to isolate individuals, this can be remedied by planning social occasions in case they do not occur spontaneously and without planning. Make a habit of visiting a loved one every week, call friends and arrange outings. This can not only improve quality of life, but also improves cognition and brain function – two excellent ways of preventing dementia.