Dementia, namely Alzheimer’s disease, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Alzheimer’s is also the most common cause of dementia for adults. This disease leaves lasting damage to the patient and their loved ones, not only psychologically and physically but also because of the but also the high cost of care. While dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is not curable, we can still take measures to lower our risk of developing it or, at least, delay the disease since factors like genetics play a role in almost all cases of Alzheimer’s.
Let’s see dementia symptoms and how to prevent dementia or delay it.
1. Signs of dementia
When you begin to experience all or most of these symptoms, it could be the beginning of dementia. Difficulty with language; struggling to remember names of objects and simple everyday words. Having trouble remembering recent events or mistaking dates. Having trouble concentrating or performing everyday tasks. Confusion, apathy, and behavior changes. Lacking a sense of direction or becoming disoriented. Inability to recognize a family member or friend. Losing sense of time and sense of hygiene, nutrition, etc.
2. How To Prevent Dementia: Change your diet
If you’re not following a healthy diet, it’s time to change that. The foods you consume plays a major role in either increasing or lowering your dementia risk. Eating the right, healthy food will reduce the risk of dementia and other health problems like heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke, and some cancers. Eating healthy includes getting staying away from processed foods like processed meats (bacon, smoked turkey, ham), pasta, cakes, white bread, white rice, white sugar, artificial sweeteners, and beer.
Foods you should eat instead:
- Antioxidant-rich fruits: Oranges, prunes, berries.
- Highly nutritious/fiber-rich veggies & beans: Broccoli, spinach, onions, lentils, barley, chickpeas, pulses.
- High omega 3 oils: Olive oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, canola oil, soybean oil.
- Fish with good omegas: salmon, sardines, and tuna.
3. Exercise more
What does workout have to do with memory problems, you may ask? Exercise stimulates the brain and protects against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, but it’s not the only thing that protects you. Your lifestyle choices such as a healthy diet coupled with regular exercise can help reduce your risk of dementia, so make sure to take 150 minutes to do strength training and moderate cardio every week. Running just 10 minutes each day and walking 6-9 miles a week can also help lower the risk of dementia.
4. Being social
Humans are simply social creatures, so they usually don’t do well in isolation. Loneliness and alienation can drive people to become depressed and develop mental health problems and even memory problems. Studies show that social contact, especially for people aged 60, can significantly lower the risk of dementia. People who socialize and maintain friends throughout their lives are 12% less likely to end up with Alzheimer’s later in life than people who tend to isolate themselves. Make sure to stay social and share a laugh with your loved ones to prevent dementia.
5. Learn new skills
Exercise, social activities, and a healthy diet are not the only things that can stimulate your brain or keep your mind and body healthy and prevent dementia. Constantly learning a new skill is also one of the best ways to keep your mind sharp and keep dementia at bay. The best ways to boost your brain power can go from solving Jigsaw puzzles to learning a dance, to writing or journaling. All in all, if you want to prevent dementia, eat healthy, exercise regularly, learn new skills, and engage in social activities.