Cognitive impairment isn’t part of the normal aging process. Dementia occurs secondary to a variety of medical conditions and disorders. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests one-third or more of dementia disorders are preventable. There are many ways family members can help their older loved ones reduce the risk of developing dementia.
1. Discourage Smoking
Nicotine, tar, and the chemicals used to process tobacco narrow blood vessels, which causes high blood pressure and interferes with normal blood flow and the lungs’ ability to oxygenate the blood. Encourage your loved one to engage in other activities to take his or her mind off cravings. Seek medical assistance for cessation interventions if needed.
2. Get Them Moving
When seniors exercise regularly, they enable their cardiovascular system to become more efficient. The blood vessels relax, the heart doesn’t have to pump as hard or as frequently to circulate blood, and the lungs become more efficient at creating and passing on oxygen with less effort.
3. Promote a Brain-Healthy Diet
Prepare meals for your parent consisting mainly of brightly colored vegetables and fruits as well as lean meats, fish, and poultry. The meals should also include low-fat or fat-free dairy products, nuts, and whole grains. This way, your loved one gets sufficient amounts of vital nutrients to fuel the body along with antioxidants and vitamins that prevent cell damage. The right nutrients also offer protection for the central nervous system. A healthy diet reduces the risk of becoming overweight, which might lead to diabetes development.
Seniors with mobility limitations or other health conditions may find it challenging to prepare healthy meals on their own. 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 senior home care Dallas, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Stimulate the Brain
Exercising cognitive abilities daily has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia. The more frequently the brain undergoes mental stimulation, the busier neurons become creating new pathways. The activity also encourages new neuron growth and development. Work crossword puzzles or play Scrabble together. Take a class with your loved one and learn a new hobby or skill.
Professional caregivers 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 in-home care. Dallas families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s 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.
5. Lull Them to Sleep
The body needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night to relax and accomplish much-needed repairs. The hours of sleep needed don’t decrease with age. Research suggests getting enough sleep every night aids the brain in removing the beta-amyloid plaques associated with cognitive impairment. Make sure your loved one’s sleeping environment is conducive to sleep. Your loved one should take a soothing warm bath or shower before bed and engage only in relaxing activities two to three hours before bedtime.
6. Discourage Drinking
In the last decade, alcohol abuse disorders in older adults have increased by more than 100 percent. Chronic alcohol use leads to the vitamin B1 deficiency that causes Korsakoff syndrome, which produces symptoms that mimic Alzheimer’s. Older men and women should limit their alcohol consumption to one drink daily. Encourage your loved one to seek medical help to quit the habit.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Dallas 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. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call us at (214) 363-3400 today.