Dementia is one of the common diseases met among senile people. It’s a brain disease that causes a long-term and gradual decrease in the ability to think, remember and motivate, affecting people’s daily lives severely. They usually complain about memory loss, difficulties with thinking, problem-solving and language. Changes in their mood and behaviour are also observable.
The main reasons for dementia are the process of ageing, genes, and other external factors, like unhealthy lifestyle and addictions. Patients may suffer from different types of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia. However, it doesn’t mean that every older person must develop this disease. Today, there are numerous preventive measures you can take to protect yourself against this ailment.
Take regular health checks
To prevent dementia, everyone should take regular health checks, ideally once a year. Even if you’re as right as rain, being at the age of over 40, you should see your doctor more often. Health insurance can significantly help you to make an appointment with specialists. They will tell you if you’re at a higher risk of dementia or other health problems that may lead to it, such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or stroke.
Moreover, you’ll be informed about the signs and symptoms of dementia so that you could easily recognise it when it appears and take proper measures to fight it. Most of all, you should keep an eye on your blood pressure, which should be kept at a healthy level. Too high blood pressure can be a contributing factor to dementia.
If you’ve been already diagnosed with some health conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, or even depression, also keep them under regular control.
Watch out what you eat
Besides regular visits to a doctor, you should also start leading a healthy and balanced diet, low in saturated fat, salt, sugar and red meat. All these products can considerably increase the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, in consequence leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Instead, you can enrich your diet with such products as fish, starchy food, fruit and vegetables, which are much healthier and have a positive impact on your well-being and health state.
Maintain a healthy weight
Developing proper eating habits will help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is also crucial in the prevention of dementia. Why? Because obese people are more likely to have blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, strictly connected with the emergence of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
To check whether your weight is right, you can either ask your doctor or use a healthy weight calculator. If it turns out that you are overweight or obese, you should start thinking about losing weight. But it must be done in moderation. So don’t even consider a crash diet- it’s not for you.
Take regular physical exercise
Obesity very often comes from a lack of any physical exercises and a sedentary lifestyle. That’s why to improve this sphere of your life, you are recommended to take up some sports. Avoid sitting long hours in one position. Instead, try to move more often. You can start from going for a short walk every day or taking stairs instead of an elevator. Then, consider signing up for a gym or even going jogging in the nearby park. After a few months, you’ll see how better you can feel both physically and mentally.
People who take regular physical exercises have noticed that not only are they in a better mood, but they can also think more clearly and concentrate easier than before. Taking care of your cognitive abilities should be placed in the first place on your list of things to do while preventing dementia.
Develop healthy habits
It’s been also observed that people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol or are regular smokers are at a higher risk of dementia. Such addictions are thought to be detrimental to your health, not only causing dementia but also other serious diseases such as stroke, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, some cancers and damage to your nervous system and the brain. So, how can you protect yourself from these habits? Simply through avoiding drinking and smoking and developing healthy habits.
Be mentally and socially active
If you don’t want to develop dementia when you’re old, stay mentally and socially active for your whole life. For example, you can read more, learn a new skill, or even do some puzzles to exercise your brain.
It’s also essential to spend your free time with your family and friends, visit them or go out together to avoid staying alone at home, which may lead to your grief, alienation, and even depression, which is regarded as one of the symptoms of dementia.
If you were wondering how to overcome dementia even before its appearance, now you should be fully informed about all possible preventive measures you can take to cope with it in 2020.