Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It currently has no cure.
Abnormal protein deposits build up in the brain, leading to cognitive decline and memory loss. As Alzheimer’s advances, it disrupts a person’s ability to think, reason, communicate, and perform everyday tasks. It starts with mild forgetfulness and confusion, and progresses into disorientation, personality changes, and difficulty recognizing loved ones, eventually impairing physical functions.
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent it, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
What Can You Do to Promote Brain Health and Reduce Risk?
Various lifestyle factors may reduce your risk of developing cognitive conditions.
Increase Physical Activity
Engaging in physical activities enhances cerebral blood flow, improves cognitive function, and reduces inflammation. Every bit helps, but a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity is recommended.
Eat Well and Hydrate
Mindful dietary choices are vital for brain health. Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Incorporate omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like fish for their cognitive benefits. The Mediterranean diet is a good choice. Antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries and leafy greens help protect brain cells from oxidative damage.
Stabilize blood sugar levels by also avoiding excessive sugar and refined carbohydrates intake.
Also, dehydration can impair cognitive function, so make sure you get enough water daily.
Manage Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Vigilant monitoring and control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels are essential. Keep these in a healthy range through a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management, as high blood pressure and a heart disease have been linked to Alzheimer ‘s and dementia.
Prioritize Quality Sleep
Quality sleep is fundamental for brain health. Seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly is ideal to help reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimer ‘s.
Activate Your Brain to Avoid Cognitive Decline
Mental engagement through activities like reading, puzzles, crosswords, and acquiring new skills fosters cognitive resilience. Learning new languages, starting new hobbies, or learning about new things maintains cognitive agility. Strong social connections and participating in group activities also provides stimulation.
Persistent stress can negatively affect brain health and heighten Alzheimer’s risk. To counteract stress, consider mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or relaxation techniques. Strong social support can also provide emotional sustenance during challenging times.
Abstain from Smoking and Excessive Alcohol
Smoking and excessive alcohol increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. Quitting or never smoking or vaping, and drinking only in moderation are healthy lifestyle choices that help prevent or delay this disease.
Prevent Head Injuries
Head injuries, especially those involving recurrent concussions, are linked to an increased Alzheimer’s risk. Protect yourself by wearing helmets during activities with the risk of head impacts and using seat belts.
Manage Chronic Conditions
Chronic conditions such as depression, obesity, and sleep apnea have been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Seek medical treatment and management to mitigate their impact on brain health.
Consider Nutritional Supplements
Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and antioxidants such as turmeric and ginkgo biloba may help reduce the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating supplements into your routine.
How Much Will This Help in Reducing Your Risk of Alzheimer ‘s Disease and Related Dementias?
According to the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, people who adhere to four or five specific healthy behaviors – physical activity, not smoking, light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, a high-quality diet, and keeping the mind active with cognitive activities – have a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s. However, eliminating any risk factor is a great first step.
The risk of developing these conditions varies individually, so it’s imperative to consult with healthcare professionals to create a tailored prevention plan.
Undergo Regular Cognitive Assessments
While cognitive assessments don’t prevent Alzheimer’s, they are essential for early detection of it, so it can be managed and treated as soon as possible to slow cognitive decline. Drugs, cognitive therapy, and other treatments and healthy lifestyle changes are more effective the earlier they are implemented.
Regular screenings are especially valuable for individuals aged 65 and older. However, those with a family history of Alzheimer’s, or head injury, or those who have exhibited cognitive changes should be assessed earlier. In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend baseline assessments for individuals in their 40s or 50s to establish a reference point for comparison.
Early diagnosis also enables individuals and their families to access caregiver support and take other practical measures.
If you or a loved one is dealing with Alzheimer’s and need support or assistance, contact Peak Home Healthcare for a free consultation. We hire only the most compassionate and dependable caregivers who pass rigorous checks and assessments. Our mission is to deliver safe, dependable, and personalized in-home healthcare; we aim to exceed your expectations as we improve lives and empower clients and families to thrive.
Our reliable and compassionate caregivers undergo extensive background checks. We offer comprehensive medical and non-medical services, tailoring plans to individual needs.