Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to memory loss and cognitive decline. Though Alzheimer’s does have a hereditary component, there are many ways seniors can reduce their chances of developing this condition. Seniors should follow these tips to keep their brains healthy and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
1. Reduce Sugar Intake
Many foods contain unhealthy levels of sugar that cause constant blood sugar spikes. This leads to an increase in inflammation that can have a negative effect on brain health. Eating sugar also leads to obesity and high blood pressure, which are risk factors for Alzheimer’s. Your loved one should try to avoid processed and packaged foods that contain excessive sugar and eat home cooked meals with plenty of vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains instead.
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2. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical exercise reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and delays its progression. Medical researchers believe exercise staves off Alzheimer’s disease by stimulating the brain’s ability to make neural connections. Being physically fit also prevents falls and accidents that could cause brain damage and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Avoid Harmful Toxins
Both smoking and heavy drinking have been linked to increased risks of Alzheimer’s disease. Seniors who smoke have an 80 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s than nonsmokers. Heavy drinking is also linked to accelerated brain ageing, so your loved one should try to drink no more than 3 drinks in a day.
4. Lower Stress Levels
Excessive levels of stress can have a detrimental impact on health. Chronic stress can lead to delayed nerve cell growth and shrinkage in certain areas of the brain. Seniors should avoid activities that involve stress and consider meditation, massage, and other forms of relaxation.
Professional care workers can help seniors de-stress and manage daily activities. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Brisbane Home Care Assistance can help. Our care workers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
5. Keep the Brain Active
Many doctors have discovered that regularly stimulating the brain can protect it from cognitive decline. Seniors should try completing word puzzles, board games, and brain teasers to keep their brains active. They can also exercise their brains by learning new languages, playing a musical instrument, or studying a new subject.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Research indicates sleep plays an important role in staving off Alzheimer’s disease. During sleep, the body flushes out certain beta-amyloid proteins that tend to build up on brain cells. To keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay, seniors should try to get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Seniors should wake up and go to bed at the same time each day, avoid electronic screens an hour before bed, sleep in a dark room, and avoid caffeine at least six hours before bed.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of cognitive decline can be challenging. Families who find it difficult to care for their ageing loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Brisbane, QLD, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite care workers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. If your elderly loved one needs high-quality in-home care, give us a call at [hca_phone] today.