Preventing, Treating, and Living With Dementia

As people age, certain health concerns become more prevalent. People start to become afflicted with heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Another concern is preventing, treating, and living with dementia.

Young woman kissing her old grandmother in the park. Living with dementia concept

Dementia is a scary topic, and we’re sure you have questions. Here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know.

Is It Possible To Prevent Dementia?

There are several types of dementia, so there is no one way to prevent it. Additionally, researchers are still learning how it develops and how to treat it.

Common risk factors have been identified. As such, avoiding these risk factors and leading a healthy lifestyle is a great way to lower your chances of developing dementia.

Common factors include age, genetics, level of education, and lifestyle. While you can’t avoid aging and have no control over your genetics, you do have control over your lifestyle.

Tips That Could Prevent Dementia

A healthy, regulated diet and regular exercise are once again the recommended preventative treatment. Try eating foods that are rich in nutrients and low in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. Your diet should consist primarily of vegetables and lean meats.

Regular exercise doesn’t just keep you at a healthy weight, increase energy and flexibility; it also protects your brain. Whether you elect to take a walk around the park, participate in a senior water aerobics class, or join a Silver Sneakers program, exercise of any kind keeps your mind and body active.

Avoid Isolation, Smoking, and Drinking

These are perhaps the most common coinciding factors in dementia patients. Older adults who isolate themselves and don’t engage in stimulating social activities are at a higher risk. Additionally, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption are risk factors that have other consequences such as heart disease, cancer, and liver disease. It’s never too late to quit smoking, and cutting back or cutting out alcohol is better for brain health and heart health.

Treating Dementia

While there is no cure for most types of dementia, the condition’s progress can be slowed, and various treatments can improve quality of life for those diagnosed.

Again, lifestyle is crucial. A healthy diet, lots of exercise, and stimulating activities are vital. There are also a variety of therapies and strategies that can help retain memory as well as stave off depression and anxiety.

Many of the treatments for dementia (especially in the early stages) do not involve medication. However, there are medications available for mid and late stage dementia.

Living With Dementia

It’s important to have a good support system. Quality caregivers are vital to patients living with dementia. Routines, strategies, and communication are important for their health, safety, and well-being.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, please contact us at 718.376.7755. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.

Signs of Normal Memory Loss

Senior Moments

They’re quips we hear often enough. When a companion forgets a well-known nameor when you’ve forgotten where you left your keys: “I’m having a senior moment,” or, “My Alzheimer’s is setting in!” The lapse in memory in itself may be disquieting. After all, no one likes to forget things. However, jests of this nature can be rooted in truth. Memory loss ranges from what’s perfectly normal to an underlying condition that may indicate a more serious concern.

normal memory loss

How Age May Play a Role

Over the past several years, scientists have come to more fully understand which types of memory loss are normal and which may be a warning bell. Age plays a normal role in contributing to memory loss.  As we age, the body changes, including the composition of the brain. We know that children learn at an incredibly fast rate. Conversely, adults learn more slowly and do not remember information as well. Moreover, the elderly are often prone to mild forgetfulness which does not necessarily indicate serious memory problems.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), older adults may find they don’t do as well as younger people on complex memory or learning tests. Given enough time, however, studies show that healthy older people can do as well as younger people do on these tests. In fact, as they age, healthy adults usually improve in areas of mental ability such as vocabulary.

Treating Health Issues Can Help

Memory problems may be related to treatable health issues. Chronic alcoholism, thyroid, kidney, or liver disorders, tumors, infections, or blood clots in the brain may cause memory loss or dementia. Additionally, side effects from medication can be a cause, as can certain vitamin deficiencies. Emotional problems like stress, anxiety, or depression, can leave a person feeling distracted, making them appear more forgetful. This confusion and forgetfulness caused by emotions is usually temporary.

For some older people, memory problems are a sign of a more serious problem, such as amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or vascular dementia. For those whose memory loss seems excessive, it’s important to consult a doctor. Conducting a thorough health evaluation—including a review of medical history, prescription and over-the-counter medicines, diet, past medical problems, and general health—is necessary to get to the root of the problem.

Call David York Agency

When memory problems make daily living too challenging or unsafe, David York Agency can assist you with senior care planning.  Contact us at 718-376-7755, or visit us online at davidyorkhomehealthcare.com. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.