Unfortunately, we may not be at the stage where we have a cure for Dementia, but that doesn’t mean we should lose hope. We should continue to fight it and try to slow down the onset.
There are an estimated 50 million people living with Dementia worldwide, the number is estimated to double every 20 years.
Dementia occurs when there is a loss of nerve cells in the brain and when a nerve cell dies, it cannot be replaced. As more and more cells begin to die the brain starts to shrink causing symptoms which include problems with memory, thinking, problem-solving, language, visual perception and changes in mood.
Dementia is brought on by previous infections which affect the brain, like strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. It is not a natural part of ageing and will progressively become worse.
Keep physically active
It’s important to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Regular physical exercise in middle-aged or elderly people reduces the risk of developing dementia because it makes your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient.
Exercise will lower your cholesterol and keep your blood pressure at a healthy level which in turn decreases your risk of developing dementia.
Why not take up swimming, yoga, walking, cycling, join an exercise or a dance group today?
Eat a healthy balanced diet and don’t smoke!
A healthy and balanced diet includes all the main food groups but in certain moderations. Try to eat high proportions of oily fish, make sure you’re having your 5-a-day of fruit and vegetables, cook with olive oil and eat low amounts of red meat and sugary treats.
It’s also important to cut down on saturated fats, such as cakes, biscuits and cheese and keep an eye on your salt intake.
Your choice of food is so important to ensure you’re healthy! What you decide to eat helps to determine whether you have low cholesterol and low blood pressure and therefore reducing your risk of dementia, a stroke or diabetes.
Don’t smoke! Smoking harms your lungs, heart and blood circulation which results in a greater risk of developing dementia. It can also cause your arteries to narrow which leads to a rise in your blood pressure.
If you currently smoke and would like to quit, please speak to your GP who can provide help and advice about quitting.
Exercise Your Mind
Keeping your mind active will likely reduce your risk of dementia. Research has found that keeping your brain active will help to build its reserves of brain cells and make connections stronger.
Try reading, learning something new like a different language, doing puzzles like word searches or crosswords, playing cards games with friends, or begin a new hobby.
All of the above makes your brain need to restructure and rewire itself to help keep up with the new demands placed on it. Therefore constantly being tested and needing to adapt making it healthier and not becoming idle.
Have a snooze in the sun (remember your sunscreen!)
Sleep is so important to help maintain our bodies are healthy and happy. It can impact your mood for the day, your memory, your thinking capability and is vital for your mind’s health.
On the other hand, a researcher has linked vitamin D to help minimize the risk of Alzheimer’s and therefore Dementia. We get most of our Vitamin D from the Sun. Scientists at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles found that Vitamin D may be responsible for activating cellular signalling that clears the brain of plaque build-up and low vitamin D levels are linked to poor brain power.
Life’s too short to stress
Stress can have a huge negative impact on our body and affects the immune system which is known to play an important role in the development of dementia. The hormone cortisol is released when severely stressed and this has been linked to problems with memory.
It’s important to surround yourself with people and things you love and enjoy! Staying social keeps your mind active and stimulated but also helps when suffering from stress.
Try meditation, deep breathing, socialising with friends, exercising and relaxation techniques to reduce your level of stress.
Sadly, people with dementia have a greater propensity to fall over. The Camel Lifting Cushion allows a fallen person to be lifted safely, quickly and keeps associated stress to a minimum. This is because the user can keep their feet on the ground and they feel more secure.
If you’re interested in finding out further information regarding the Camel please click here.
If you know someone who is living with dementia, or you are living with the condition yourself please feel free to leave us your thoughts and comments below.
Mangar Health is a member of the Winncare Group