Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects 1 in 10 adults over the age of 65. Dementia is characterized by the gradual and progressive loss of memory, thought, and mental abilities. The World Health Organization defines dementia as a syndrome in which there is deterioration in behavior, thinking, memory and the ability to carry out everyday activities.
Thanks to advances in medicine, we’re able to live longer, but as we age, our brain deteriorates and our chances of suffering from a neurodegenerative disease increases.
There is no known way to prevent dementia. There are however some measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing dementia, slowing cognitive decline, and improving cognitive functions. While you may not be able to do anything to prevent dementia, there are ways to start different mental strategies that allow us to improve cognitive reserve and compensate for cognitive deterioration. Living a healthy life can keep your brain healthy for a longer time and help prevent or delay dementia.
What can we do to help prevent cognitive decline and dementia?
1. You are what you eat
Have you ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”? In the case of dementia, it rings true. Keeping a healthy and balanced diet is very important for preventing or delaying dementia.
2. Keep a healthy body weight
Eating well and having a balanced diet can directly affect our weight, so by being conscious of what we eat, we can also help control our weight. Staying at a healthy weight can help prevent diseases and problems like obesity, hypertension, cholesterol levels etc., all of which can increase the risk of dementia.
3. Eliminate toxic habits from your life
Toxic habits, like smoking or excessive drinking can increase the risk of dementia.By eliminating some of these toxins, you can help prevent vascular dementia, which is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s, and is caused by cerebrovascular incidents like stroke. Need help ditching some of these habits?
4. Get moving!
You don’t need to do high-intensity exercise everyday to get the benefits it provides us. There are different kinds of exercise, like talking a walk or going for a bike ride. In older individuals, it’s been shown that walking for an hour decreases cognitive decline and helps the brain work better.
5. Use a brain training program
The cognitive stimulation from a brain training program is a non-drug solution to help prevent dementia in a fun and entertaining way.Brain training programs work by training the user’s weakest cognitive skills and improving them over time.
6. Create your own habits and routines
Our brain loves habits, so keeping your daily routines and habits can help you keep your brain happy.
7. Regular check-ups
Cognitive deterioration is becoming more and more common. Scientists and researchers are constantly finding new information, and more discoveries are being made all the time with respect to preventing and treating cognitive decline and dementia.
8. Try new things
When you learn a new skill or try something new, our brain has to work harder and activate resources that it doesn’t usually have to. By stimulating our brains like this, the connections between the neurons get stronger and can even grow in number. According to a study, bilingual patients had a delayed onset of dementia than monolingual patients, which leads us to believe that learning a new language can be beneficial in preventing dementia.
9. Spend time with your family and friends, and meet new people
Social activities, like going out with friends, going to the theater, and meeting new people actually stimulate your brain. When you do this, your brain creates new neural connections, which can help prevent or delay dementia.
10. Stress less
Stressing is a significant risk factor for dementia. Stress is normal, but learn to read the signs and know when to take a break. There are ways to control and overcome the stress in your life. Being in nature can help relieve stress and tension.