Doctors around the world continue to invest countless hours into studying Alzheimer’s, and these medical specialists have uncovered some of the leading risk factors for this pervasive disease. While a few of the causes of Alzheimer’s are completely out of our control, seniors can take steps to lower their risk of this progressive disorder while increasing their overall cognitive health.
Stay Physically Active
In addition to strengthening the heart and lungs, rigorous exercise also benefits the brain. Studies show exercising for a few hours a week can greatly reduce a senior’s risk of several cognitive health disorders, including Alzheimer’s. As a general rule, older adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week.
For seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise safely on their own, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful asset. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Highland Park Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Get Plenty of Sleep
During sleep, the body flushes protein clusters out of the brain, which is just one of the reasons restorative sleep is so essential to a senior’s health. When these protein clusters aren’t flushed out, they quickly begin to damage the brain cells, which could result in Alzheimer’s. Everyone has slightly different sleep requirements, but the average senior should try to get around six or seven hours of sleep per night.
Reduce Stress Levels Naturally
Over the last few years, doctors have discovered stress seems to play a major role in the development of Alzheimer’s. Stress is a natural response to certain stimuli, but chronic anxiety can eventually lead to brain inflammation. Over time, this inflammation will damage the synapses in the brain and increase the risk of several cognitive health problems. There are many ways to naturally reduce stress levels, including doing guided breathing exercises, meditating, exercising, and socializing with loved ones.
Stick to a Nutritious Diet
Diet can have a major impact on cognitive health, and seniors need to be very careful about what they eat. Most older adults are going to benefit from a plant-based diet that consists primarily of leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and whole grains. Protein is very important as well, and seniors should try to stock their refrigerators with lean sources of that macronutrient. Some of the best sources of protein include fatty fish, poultry, legumes, soy products, and eggs.
For some seniors, shopping for fresh foods and preparing nutritious meals on their own can be challenging. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
Engage in Stimulating Activities
For many decades, health experts believed the brain stops creating healthy new cells at a certain age. After years of research, scientists now know the brain continues to create new cells and synapses as long as it’s constantly being stimulated. To protect your loved one’s cognitive health, encourage him or her to engage in mentally challenging tasks as often as possible. Doing puzzles, hosting game nights, learning new languages, and reading are all great activities for older adults.
If your loved one does develop Alzheimer’s disease, your family doesn’t have to go through it alone. Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Highland Park Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (214) 363-3400 to learn more about our customized care plans.