Dementia – with all its variants has been believed for a long time as being largely hereditary.
This assumption, while being completely false has however forced many Seniors and elderly persons to believe that there is really nothing that can be done to avert the situation or at worst, slow down the progress of this challenge.
Today, right on our beloved Best for Seniors blog, we will not only debunk this false notion, but we’ll also ensure that we give you, our dear reader, 7 practical tips that will ensure that you productively fight any variant of dementia yourself or aid another Senior/elderly person do so.
However, before we proceed to the business of the day proper, let’s see what dementia really is and importantly, why it is so harmful and challenging.
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What Is Dementia – And Why Is It So Powerful?
According to Alz, dementia is:
a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.
This is the most fitting and all-encompassing definition of dementia, as we know and understand it today.
So, if dementia is not a disease pe se but rather, a progressive decline in the mental ability of an individual, what makes it so dreaded to warrant our attention today?
The reason is as simple as it is straightforward.
The superior human memory – and the accompanying brain power is the sole reason of the superiority of the human specie.
Now, with the reality that an individual has lost – or is beginning to lose the primary attribute (the brain) that largely differentiates him/her from lower animals, irrelevance and dependency set in.
…and when it does, a plethora of other challenges set in – culminating with the fact that the affected individual has to be looked after in the manner a baby is looked after – if he/she is to be kept out of harm’s way.
Essentially thus, Dementia is so dreaded and taken this seriously because it strikes at the root of one’s ability to live independently and conduct his/her life the way and manner deemed fit.
This ‘strike’ is often what leads to assisted living.
In the rare instance that assisted living is not required (or needed yet), Dementia still plays a serious role in the lowering of the quality of life open to an individual.
Having taken a close look at the challenges Dementia plays in the life of a challenged individual and importantly, what it is, let’s now see how Seniors and the elderly (you) in society can stop this reality from being a part of their lives.
7 Tips To Keep Your Brain Dementia Free As A Senior/Elderly Person
These tips are short and smart with no BS.
They are also very easy to follow, irrespective of your age, financial power or current circumstance.
It will thus be a wise idea if you take them all very seriously and carefully observe all that apply.
Let’s help you keep Dementia away!
1. Exercise Regularly
The first tip for Seniors and the elderly who are interested in avoiding Dementia completely is to exercise as frequently and as regularly as their age permits.
This means that you can either choose to take a walk every morning and evening, ride a physical bicycle or if you’ll prefer it safe and convenient, deploy a smart recumbent bike.
Actually, the options for exercising as a Senior are plentiful and truly endless.
Using an exercise ball is also an option, physically skipping up and down or jumping over obstacles will also do a lot of good in pushing up blood right to the brain and keeping things extremely healthy and dementia-free.
If you’re lucky to have grandkids close by, kindly ensure that you create time with them and try such physically refreshing exercises as soccer 🙂
If you wish to cap things up, get a Fitbit tracker specially dedicated to the elderly/Seniors and track every metric up.
That way, you know exactly such things as the steps you’ve taken a day, the stairs you’ve climbed, the quality of your sleep and importantly, the calories burnt.
2. Always Eat Great Food
Now, this may not be practical – especially if you have economic challenges or are good with junk food.
However, if your income can afford it, you’ve got no excuse: you need to buy and cook your own food as against the junk that is served in restaurants around the world.
Now, food isn’t just food.
This means that even when you cook your own food, you may very well still be eating thrash that you’re not ordinarily supposed to be bothered with – if you’re to successfully fight dementia in all its variants.
Focusing on a balanced diet is a great idea that will overall, ensure that your body, especially the brain, gets the ‘fuel’ it needs to run productively.
Now, if the brain gets all the ‘fuel’ it needs to run in the manner that it actually requires, why would it (ever) lag behind by way of dementia again?
3. Get Mental Stimulation (Frequently)
Most Seniors and elderly persons do not bother with any form of mental stimulation after the age of 60.
Justifying this unhealthy lifestyle as a luxury that they cannot afford, the brain – for lack of use practically falls out of practice and tune in a classical Lamarck fashion.
When this happens – and the cells in the brain begin to die and the nerves/vessels supplying blood and oxygen begin to narrow down in an unproductive fashion, mental ability is certain to decline much to the horror of the individual in question: YOU.
To prevent this from happening, you must ensure that you always use your brain.
This can be achieved by solving crossword puzzles on a frequent basis, watching action-packed movies, reading suspense-filled novels, and most importantly, actively learning something new, say a foreign language.
Keeping the brain super active by means of engaging the mind remains the primary weapon academicians, doctors, and legal practitioners deploy to fight off Dementia, unconsciously.
The results are always legendary and are well known both to you and us.
4. Ensure Quality Sleep Every Night
The brain is the storehouse (or engine) of the body; once it is affected, the whole body gets in a total mess.
Unfortunately, sleep is what calms it down and ensures that it operates within acceptable and productive limits.
Look at it this way: if the human brain is an engine in a car, the car is your body, and the coolant necessary to ensure that the engine does not overheat and keeps working as intended is sleep.
So, naturally, when the quality of sleep is altered to the negative or you completely refuse to get sleep (for whatever reason), your brain has no way to cool down, giving room for a crash down or at best, ‘malfunction’.
In younger persons, this can be managed and actually amounts to little issue.
As a matter of fact, many young men and women continually skip sleep and argue that they are only ‘hardworking’.
The good thing is that, if age is on your side, the aftermath is slow and the hammer comes down slowly.
However, when you’re advanced, are a Senior, or are already aged, your body is less tolerant of such abuses.
Accordingly thus, skipping sleep, sleeping too little (anything less than 8 hours is not permitted) or sleeping in an uncomfortable manner (say on the couch, chair or on the floor) will accelerate your chances of going down with Dementia.
Remember, the rule is that, anything that plays with your brain (successfully) essentially opens it up to the various variants of Dementia.
5. Remove Stress From Your Life (As Far As It Depends On You)
For aged persons who are not desirous of having challenges with Dementia (like you), removing stress from your life completely (as far as it depends on you) will go a long way to ensuring that you achieve brilliantly achieve this goal.
This can be achieved variously.
However, the easiest way to get this done as an elderly person is to:
- Mind your business – and focus only on what truly concerns you.
- Understand that there are some things you cannot change…for these, acceptance is the best strategy.
- Get focused on the things that really matter and forget the little annoying bits of life.
- Ensure that you make peace with yourself and your fellow men, especially when you’re certain that you have many unfinished ‘businesses’ with them.
- Finally, accept death gracefully and understand that it is the way of all mortals.
When you get these basics right, your brain will stress itself less and have time to ensure that you have the needed mental fortitude to fight Dementia to a halt.
Sharing up the brain’s ‘resources’ with insignificant things is like multitasking: it does not always go well, especially for the aged, elderly, or Seniors.
Bonus Tip: Laugh The Hell Out 🙂
There is nothing that helps a stressed-out mind the way laughter does…it practically soothes the brain and relaxes an individual – irrespective of his/her age.
Accordingly thus, if you’re stressed out and cannot on your own control the stress levels that rise in you, laugh the hell out.
Find a reason to be merry and if you cannot find any, the fact that you’re alive and a Senior should be in itself reason enough.
Once you’ve pinpointed a reason, find joy in it and watch stress, sorrow and negative emotions all vanish from your life completely.
This will be to you as raw magic!
6. Stop Smoking And Alcohol Intake
The health effects of smoking are as many as they are varied – irrespective of the age of the smoker.
So are the challenges of taking alcohol.
However, at a certain age, these challenges take a dramatic turn and their effects on the body is legion: that age is the age of Seniority!
If as a Senior or an elderly person, you’re still in the unhealthy habit of smoking and drinking (no matter what it is that you actually smoke or drink), it makes the process of Dementia easier on your brain – and it eats it up like mots eat up paper!
While the direct relationship between these and Dementia has not been clearly established, it has however been established that aged persons who do not smoke or drink have a better chance at fighting Dementia than their counterparts who do.
Do you see the connection?
7. Eliminate Sugar From Your Life Completely
According to this article, higher carbohydrate and sugar intake in older adults has been linked to an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment.
While higher sugar intake and increased love for carbohydrates expose you as an elderly person to mild cognitive impairment, such a risk is not – and should not be considered ‘mild’ again when other factors play in, especially any of the first 6 discussed above or their combination.
Aside from the fear of cognitive impairment, sugar, and carbohydrates in older adults also predispose you to such medical challenges as diabetes.
The good thing is that direct sugar intake can be stopped immediately while carbohydrate consumption can be reduced to a manageable and safe level.
However, from experience, the direct stoppage of sugar intake does not achieve much per se, especially when sugar is still consumed in various forms.
The key – and lasting solution is to ensure that all manner of soft drinks, wines and beer that contain sugar or any appreciable amount of carbohydrates should be avoided at all cost – even if the body (actually) craves it/them.
The rule thus should be that anything that tilts to the realm of either sugar or carbohydrates should be completely avoided.
Instead, focus on the bodybuilders, protein.
Wrap Up/Summary On Helping Seniors Stay Away From Dementia
At just over 2,000 words, this article is due to be rounded off.
However, before we log off, here are key takeaways:
- Dementia (in all its variants) is not 100% hereditary…lifestyle largely prompts it.
- When the lifestyle that prompts it is changed, it is halted, completely or at worse, progresses really slowly.
- This article just showed you how to halt it or at worse, slow down the process.
Go, implement and feel totally young and in control of both memory and brain again.
Best of luck!