Dementia develops for several reasons. The biological factors involved interfere with normal neuron communication, which prevents thought processes from occurring normally. There are several ways seniors can stop dementia from progressing.
1. Eat Healthier
Eating a healthy diet provides the nutrients needed to protect neurons while fighting the free radicals that lead to cell damage. Meals should consist of vegetables and fruits accompanied by poultry or fish. Whole grains, nuts, and olive oil are also recommended. Seniors should eat lean red meats less frequently, as they may cause too much iron accumulation in the brain, which has damaging effects. They should also avoid processed foods high in fat, salt, and sugar, as these foods lead to fluid retention, inflammation, and plaque formation in the delicate blood vessels.
Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions may find it difficult to prepare meals on their own, which can result in not getting proper nutrition. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Exercise More
Routine workouts strengthen the cardiovascular system, which means the heart doesn’t need to work as hard to effectively circulate blood. The blood vessels relax because they’re not forced to accommodate as much blood all at once. Blood circulates more easily and provides oxygen and nutrients to the brain more efficiently. Researchers who published a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine studied 38 senior citizens who had a mild form of vascular dementia. The older adults started an exercise regimen that involved going for one-hour walks three days each week. At the end of six months, each senior underwent reevaluation. All had lower blood pressure, and testing revealed cognitive function had increased.
3. Do Mental Workouts
Challenging the brain on a daily basis strengthens neural pathways and increases the number of neurons. Stimulating cognitive activities may involve solving puzzles, reading new material, or playing games. Learning something new exercises the brain further. Engaging in activities that require physical, visual, and mental effort stimulates more areas of the brain.
A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Jefferson County families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
4. Socialize Often
Chinese scientists followed a group of more than 7,500 men and women over the age of 65 for nine years. Initially, none of the seniors exhibited dementia symptoms. By the end of the study, 338 adults had developed the disorder. During the study, the researchers evaluated subjects’ emotional connections with others, living conditions, marital status, social networks, and participation in social activities. The results showed active social lives correlate with a reduction in dementia risk. Family members should encourage their aging loved ones to have more interaction with family and friends.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
A study published in the August 2017 issue of Neurology explains why a group of researchers believe getting enough sleep relates to cognitive health. The scientists followed the sleep habits of 321 adults over the course of 19 years. By the end of the evaluation, 32 seniors with ineffective sleep patterns had developed dementia. Seniors should try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Jefferson County seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (303) 987-5992 today.