Healthcare providers typically advise older adults to make certain lifestyle changes to keep cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer at bay. Researchers have come to realize these lifestyle changes also inhibit the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Here are a few ways seniors can reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Get Physical Exercise
Physical activity exercises the heart and enhances blood flow to the brain. Exercise dilates blood vessels and allows oxygenated blood and nutrients to nourish brain cells. Neurons are then able to perform various functions better. Seniors should engage in activities that elevate the heart rate for at least 30 minutes three times each week.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care provider Edmonton, AB, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Perform Mental Gymnastics
Engaging in various mental activities allows neurons to build new pathways of communication. This way, if some pathways get blocked, messages find their way around using other links. To exercise their minds effectively, seniors should find activities that offer different types of challenges. These activities might include playing board, card, or video games or putting together puzzles. Seniors should take classes in a particular area of interest or learn a new hobby.
3. Switch to a Healthier Diet
The Mediterranean and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diets are often recommended for boosting cardiovascular and brain health. These diets include:
- Fish, shellfish, and poultry
- Limited amounts of red meat
- Fruits and vegetables, especially red, blue, and purple varieties
- Whole grains
- Olive oil and other healthy fats
4. Get Sufficient Sleep
Researchers from the University of Toronto learned that sound, restful sleep interferes with the APOE e4 gene, which commonly leads to the development of Alzheimer’s. One study involved 700 male and female seniors whose cognitive status and sleep patterns were monitored over six years. Seniors who had the gene but who also enjoyed restful sleep had higher levels of memory and thinking ability. Out of the 700 seniors, 98 were eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. When researchers studied the brains of the deceased, they found more tangles and a greater degree of damage in the seniors who did not achieve restful sleep at night.
Caring for an aging loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming at times. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Edmonton, AB, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
5. Quit Smoking
The chemicals found in tobacco constrict blood vessels, interfere with blood circulation, and affect blood pressure. Inadequate blood flow deprives the brain of oxygen and essential nutrients.
6. Prevent Injury
Brain injury increases the risk of cognitive decline. Keep indoor and outdoor pathways clear to prevent falls and possible head injuries. When driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle, seniors should wear their seat belts. When riding a bike or playing contact sports, they should wear helmets.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Edmonton seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If your elderly loved one needs high-quality at-home care, call Home Care Assistance at (780) 490-7337.