6 Lifestyle Changes That Can Ward Off Alzheimer’s Disease
As your senior loved one ages, Alzheimer’s disease may become a significant concern. There is no certain way to prevent Alzheimer’s, but studies have shown some major lifestyle changes can keep it at bay or slow its progression. If your loved one is at risk, consider encouraging him or her to do the following.
1. Start Exercising
Seniors should get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, including both cardio and strength training workouts. Studies have shown exercise can cut Alzheimer’s risk in half. Exercises that test balance and coordination should also be a part of your loved one’s weekly regimen.
Though regular physical activity boosts memory, there are many other things your elderly loved one can do to remain healthy. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Cincinnati home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
2. Stop Smoking
Smoking can increase the risk of health conditions like heart disease and various cancers, but it can also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s in people over the age of 60. Scientists believe this has something to do with inflammation and the effects on the body’s oxygen levels. It’s never too late for your loved one to stop, but the sooner the better.
3. Socialize More Often
Seniors tend to become more isolated as they age, and isolation and loneliness can play a major role in the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s. If your loved one tends to spend too much time alone, encourage him or her to go out and spend time with other people. Volunteering, family outings, part-time jobs, senior centers, church activities, classes, and hobbies are all great places to start.
4. Eat Healthier
A poor diet is often associated with various health conditions, and Alzheimer’s disease is among them. Encourage your loved one to make some minor changes at first. Reduce the amount of sugar he or she eats, and increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut out the processed foods and cook more meals at home. The Mediterranean diet has been associated with reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other age-related health conditions.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Cincinnati home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
5. Challenge the Brain
It’s important to exercise the brain each day. This can be as simple as driving a different route to the grocery store or making memory flash cards and learning state capitals. Have your loved one keep a journal of the day’s activities to practice using his or her memory, and arrange family game or puzzle time. Buy a book of brain-teasers your loved one can work on, or encourage taking up a new hobby, learning a new language, or learning to play an instrument.
6. Reduce Stress
Seniors tend to be more stressed than younger adults because they have various things to worry about, from finances to health woes. Help your loved one make daily changes to manage his or her stress levels, like taking a walk, spending time outdoors, or practicing breathing exercises. Meditation, prayer, and even laughter can also help.
Having a professional caregiver to assist with daily tasks makes it easier to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Cincinnati respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. If you need a professionally-trained caregiver for your elderly loved one, contact Home Care Assistance at 513.891.2273 today.