Alzheimer’s is not a natural form of aging. It is a ruthless neurodegenerative disease that drastically alters the lives of its victims and their loved ones. Aging and inflammation are the dominant factors that cause major brain cell degeneration.
The good news is – you can protect your cognitive health. Studies prove that you can use proactive, holistic approaches to reduce the progression or risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Don’t ignore your cognitive health
We know regular exercise promotes healthy longevity and that it can delay the onset of diseases. But, Canada’s aging population is experiencing rapid levels of cognitive decline even amongst those that are in great physical health.
Why is that?
Research shows that cognitive health is just as important as physical health. Paying attention to our diet, sleep, social interactions, and stress levels are key. And, for the greatest benefits of cognitive health, we need cognitive engagement. If this is absent from a person’s lifestyle, there can be a significant impact on the health of our brains.
Tips for increasing cognitive engagement at any age:
- Start a new hobby
- Learn a new skill
- Participate in a new activity or recreational sport
- Spend more time with loved ones
When we have purpose in our lives, we create meaningful experiences. Look for the simple things that you can start doing now that increase your levels of attention, focus, and motivation.
Acknowledge stress, create structure and a plan
Too often, a healthy lifestyle is neglected while caring for everything and everyone else. Research shows women are diagnosed with dementia at earlier ages than men and at an accelerated rate. Acknowledging stress isn’t always easy but it’s imperative because high amounts of it are not okay and can be a major cause of brain cell degeneration.
Here are some practical tips to reduce stress:
- Commit to regular check-ups with your doctor
- Your doctor’s assessment can give structure which can reduce stress
- Work with your physician to create a plan so that dealing with the situation can be done with a sense of ease
- If you’re concerned about your parent or yourself, ask for a referral to a neurologist, or someone who specializes on healthy aging
Commit to education
No one wants to think of any of the topics around degenerative brain diseases until a moment of need. Until the diagnosis comes. Or mom is found wandering, or her car keys taken away.
Education is free. Be open and talk about how to raise awareness about cognitive diseases. Educate yourself and help those around you.
Find a holistic approach that works for you
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s… yet. By bringing together doctors, specialists, health care providers, parents, and children, we are advocating for advancement and creating an ecosystem. This ecosystem is what will ensure we move towards finding solutions, so we can all enjoy a healthy life at any age.
At Home Care Assistance Vancouver, we know that Alzheimer’s is a confusing disease. Our caregivers are trained, have specialized experience, and access to ongoing education which enable them to provide disease-specific care plans personalized to the particular attributes, conditions, and prognosis of the clients we are serving. Finding a caregiver who understands Alzheimer’s is critical to anyone suffering from the disease. Please do not hesitate to call (778) 200-1683 to speak to one of our Case Managers.