There are some changes to lifestyle that can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia. Regular exercise is helpful in reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol and this is the most important factor, although there are many theories as to why it works so well, there are no concrete results proving exactly why it works…but it does. Walking is the simplest form of exercise and costs nothing. Thirty minutes walking each day is the minimum recommendation for over 50s but many people also choose swimming or cycling especially if they are starting from a low level of fitness. Before embarking on an exercise plan it is wise to consult your GP to make sure there are no underlying health issues that will put you at risk.
Managing weight, diabetes, high blood pressure and eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables and oily fish are other factors that play a part in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Giving up smoking is also crucial and will help to prevent damage to blood vessels that deliver the vital flow of blood to the brain.
Many scientists now exude the benefits of creating challenges for your brain that will help to keep your memory and reasoning in better shape. Starting a new hobby or just breaking with a fixed daily routine is enough to make a big difference to the way your mind works. It is never too late to start some changes that could make the difference to your life as you get older and these changes could help to prevent the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Coping With A Diagnosis Of Alzheimer’s
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in a loved one is hard to come to terms with but there are a number of strategies which can help you to cope with all the problems that arise. A carer will often put their own needs to one side but this can be counter productive and it is a lot easier to provide the care and support that your loved one needs if you look after your own health and well being. It can be physically and mentally tiring to look after someone who has a progressive disease like Alzheimer’s and this can lead to stress, feelings of isolation and often depression. Family and friends can provide emotional and practical assistance and there are a number of support groups that can provide information, tips and ideas which can help you to cope.
Although it may seem difficult to achieve, having regular breaks from the daily routine of caring is very important. Spending some time each day on things you enjoy will prevent the chances of you feeling overwhelmed by the day to day task of looking after someone with dementia. A break from the daily routine will help to sustain energy levels and make you feel less isolated from normal life. If a member of the family can provide a break from caring so that you can enjoy a holiday this will make a vast difference. If no one in the family can help with care your GP could recommend the patient stays in a respite facility for a week or two.