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Observed in September, World Alzheimer’s Month is an international campaign designed to raise awareness about the debilitating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. For the third year in a row, Alzheimer associations around the world will step up their efforts to educate communities about dementia. The theme for World Alzheimer’s Month this year is “Dementia: Can we reduce the risk?”
In keeping with this year’s theme, the Albuquerque dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance have provided a few tips that can help seniors maintain the brain-healthy lifestyle that experts believe helps to prevent Alzheimer’s and memory related conditions.
Physical Exercise and Brain Health
Multiple studies have linked exercise to the brain’s ability to maintain and create the neural connections that are so vital to memory, learning and other cognitive abilities. Regular exercise increases the number of blood vessels that supply blood to the brain and helps strengthen the connections between nerve cells as well.
Brain-Healthy Food Choices
Research has found relationships between certain foods and brain health. For example, one study focused on the Mediterranean diet, which features a high intake of fruit, vegetable and whole grains and low amounts of foods with saturated fats. Study participants who followed the diet had a 28 percent lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a disorder associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Whether it’s through social engagement or mental stimulation, pastimes that keep your mind active appear to reduce the risk of developing dementia. One extensive study found that people who regularly engaged in ordinary activities like reading, playing puzzle games and listening to music reduced their risk for dementia by 47 percent.
Scientists aren’t sure whether it’s the brain-stimulating aspect of social interaction that lessens the likelihood for developing Alzheimer’s or factors like stress reduction, but numerous studies have shown that staying connected with others is as good for your brain as it is for your overall happiness. To find out how to provide your aging parent or loved one with the assistance, companionship and supervision needed to maintain cognitive health and vitality, contact Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque at 505-798-0800 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.