Play Laugh And Have Fun
Taking part in any activity that is mentally stimulating can significantly decrease the risk of developing dementia. By adding humour and fun into the activity, the risk decreases even further.
Playing board games is something you either enjoy or detest.
Many people often discount the value of playing board games as being juvenile and a waste of time. In fact playing board games have been shown to decrease the risk of dementia , however, in the same study it was found that people who did not play board games but did other activities such as writing or participating in group discussions did not reduce their dementia risk.
The important aspect of board games it that it provides an opportunity for socialisation, strategy development and fun .
Reminiscence And Life Story Work
Reminiscence work involves talking about things and events from your past. It usually involves using props such as photos, favourite possessions or music.
Life story work involves a compilation of photos, notes and keepsakes from your childhood to the present day. It can be either a physical book or a digital version.
These approaches are sometimes combined. Evidence shows that they can improve mood and wellbeing. They also help you and those around you to focus on your skills and achievements rather than on your dementia.
You’ll find more details about these treatments in the Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia guide.
How To Prevent Dementia 10 Strategies To Reduce Your Risk
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are ways to decrease your risk of dementia. Studies are showing us that healthy lifestyle choices can prevent many forms of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. A healthy lifestyle can also improve your cognitive function. While there is no definitive way to prevent dementia, these 10 healthy lifestyle strategies may help you reduce your risk.
Financial Planning After An Early
When you or a loved ones world is rocked from an early-onset Alzheimers diagnosis, its normal to feel sad, angry and paralyzed with fear. Things like financial planning typically get shoved to the back burner because theyre simply too painful to think about.
As challenging as it is, the reality is that an Alzheimers diagnosis comes with a high price tag. Plus, its better to begin planning while your loved one with a diagnosis is in an early stage and more likely to be able to participate in the decision-making process.
So, where to start? One obvious place to begin is with a familys source of income. People with early-onset Alzheimers are often forced to modify their employment availability and as a result, they may even lose their job. How can families cope with income loss? Covering living expenses as well as the price of medical treatment can cause a strain on the family budget. Following a heart-to-heart conversation with loved ones, many families choose to seek advice from a financial advisor.
Youll want to organize, review important documents, and create a realistic budget. Explore options for government programs along with insurance coverage, and consider if any low-cost or free community services are available. In addition to a financial advisor, you may want to seek advice from an attorney who specializes in elder law. An attorney can help you deal with matters like estate planning and key legal documents.
Finding Memory Care Near You
The early challenges posed by dementia-related memory decline can be taken care of at home relatively easy, up until it becomes a struggle to remember daily tasks like eating, or when to take your medication. If unpaid bills and chores begin to pile up, it can pose a health and financial risk that is truly necessary when there are so many community options available now to help aging people live in a healthy and safe environment. For those interested in seeking out dementia-friendly communities with access to medical staff and lifestyle amenities like meals and chore services, visit assistedliving.org to find out more information about memory care facilities near you. If you need assistance paying for memory care or other aging-related expenses, you might qualify for a Medicaid waiver.
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Dementia Is Not Necessarily Preventable But Science Has Established That Lifestyle Changes Can Significantly Lower Risk Here Are 12 Factors That Could Help Delay Or Prevent 40% Of Dementia Cases
Researchers project the number of people living with dementia, a neurodegenerative syndrome which currently afflicts 50 million people worldwide, will more than triple by 2050, soaring to 152 million cases globally. But experts in a recent report say two in five dementia cases could potentially be delayed or prevented by certain lifestyle choices and government policies.
The report builds on the previous nine risk factors identified by the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care, and adds three additional risk factors air pollution, traumatic brain injury and excessive consumption of alcohol.
Eric Larson, an author of the study and senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, said just as people cant control their genetics, people in their 40s cant retroactively change their socioeconomic circumstances in early life but people of all ages can, to varying extents, make lifestyle choices like habitual exercising to improve their health.
In my own practice, Ive been telling patients it would be a good idea to exercise regularly, Larson said. When they found out that you could preserve your brain and reduce your risk of dementia, it was actually a powerful motivator for many people to become a regular exerciser.
Being Patient takes a closer look at how each risk factor is linked to dementia.
What Are Cholinesterase Inhibitors
If your loved one has Alzheimerâs disease that isnât too severe yet, their doctor might prescribe them a cholinesterase inhibitor. If they have another type of dementia, their doctor may consider it, too.
What they do: Scientists think these help prevent a âmessenger chemicalâ in our brains called acetylcholine from breaking down. Acetylcholine is important in learning, memory, and mood. Cholinesterase inhibitors also appear to delay the worsening of Alzheimerâs symptoms.
These medicines include:
What to expect: Most people with Alzheimerâs who take one of these medications get some benefit from it, including less anxiety, improved motivation, and better concentration and memory. And some are able to continue with their regular activities.
But the improvements donât seem to last long — about 6 to 12 months. They mainly delay the worsening of the disease for a period of time.
All three medicines work similarly, but one might work better for your loved one than it does for someone else.
Side effects: Most people donât have side effects when they take cholinesterase inhibitors, but some do have:
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What You Should Do For Alzheimers Prevention
Even though we don’t have enough evidence that all healthy lifestyle choices prevent Alzheimer’s, we do know they can prevent other chronic problems. For example, limiting alcohol intake can help reduce the risk for certain cancers, such as breast cancer. Best advice: make as many healthy lifestyle choices as you can. “They’re all beneficial, and if they help you avoid Alzheimer’s, all the better,” says Dr. Marshall.
Know the symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Forgetting where you parked your car can be annoying. If it happens all the time, it can be disturbing, and you may worry that it’s a sign of a more serious condition. But don’t panic. There’s a difference between normal age-related memory slips, such as forgetting where the car keys are, and more serious signs of memory loss, such as forgetting what car keys are used for.
Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include frequent memory loss, confusion about locations, taking longer to accomplish normal daily tasks, trouble handling money and paying bills, loss of spontaneity, and mood and personality changes. “If you have a decline in your memory or thinking that affects your ability to perform any of your daily routines, ask your doctor for a screening to evaluate you for Alzheimer’s and related conditions,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, a Harvard Medical School assistant professor of neurology.
Have An Nhs Health Check
An NHS Health Check is a free check-up of your overall health for people aged 40 to 74 who do not have heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease, and have not had a stroke. It’s offered every 5 years.
The NHS Health Check can help find early signs and tell you if you’re at higher risk of certain health problems that can also increase your risk of dementia. These include:
- heart disease
- kidney disease
If you’re over age 65, you’ll be told the signs and symptoms of dementia to look out for. You’ll also be given advice on how to lower your risk of dementia.
If you have not been invited for an NHS Health Check, ask your GP surgery.
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Evaluating The Latest Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Research
A recent review of research looked carefully at the evidence on ways to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s dementia or age-related cognitive decline. Led by a committee of experts from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine , the review found “encouraging but inconclusive” evidence for three types of interventions:
The evidence for other interventions, such as medications and diet, was not as strong. However, scientists are continuing to explore these and other possible preventions.
Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: What Do We Know
As they get older, many people worry about developing Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. If they have a family member with Alzheimer’s, they may wonder about their family history and genetic risk. As many as 5.5 million Americans age 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s. Many more are expected to develop the disease as the population agesunless ways to prevent or delay it are found.
Although scientists have conducted many studies, and more are ongoing, so far nothing has been proven to prevent or delay dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease. But researchers have identified promising strategies and are learning more about what mightand might notwork.
We know that changes in the brain can occur many years before the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear. These early brain changes point to a possible window of opportunity to prevent or delay debilitating memory loss and other symptoms of dementia. While research may identify specific interventions that will prevent or delay the disease in some people, it’s likely that many individuals may need a combination of treatments based on their own risk factors.
Researchers are studying many approaches to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s. Some focus on drugs, some on lifestyle or other changes. Let’s look at the most promising interventions to date and what we know about them.
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Can Cognitive Training Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Cognitive training involves structured activities designed to enhance memory, reasoning, and speed of processing. There is encouraging but inconclusive evidence that a specific, computer-based cognitive training may help delay or slow age-related cognitive decline. However, there is no evidence that it can prevent or delay Alzheimer’s-related cognitive impairment.
Studies show that cognitive training can improve the type of cognition a person is trained in. For example, older adults who received 10 hours of practice designed to enhance their speed and accuracy in responding to pictures presented briefly on a computer screen got faster and better at this specific task and other tasks in which enhanced speed of processing is important. Similarly, older adults who received several hours of instruction on effective memory strategies showed improved memory when using those strategies. The important question is whether such training has long-term benefits or translates into improved performance on daily activities like driving and remembering to take medicine.
How Well Do Dementia Treatments Work
It is thought that about half the people treated with a cholinesterase inhibitor will see an improvement in symptoms which affect thinking and memory. Whether they help with other symptoms such as aggression and agitation has still not been confirmed. The improvement in symptoms is usually only seen for about 6-12 months.
For memantine, some studies have shown that it can slow down the progression of symptoms in some cases.
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Support And Care Is The Most Important Part Of Treatment
When someone is diagnosed with dementia, a full assessment may be suggested to look at their practical skills, their ability to look after themself, their safety in their home, etc. This usually involves assessment by a number of different healthcare professionals. An individual care plan may be drawn up that outlines the person’s specific needs. The aim is to maintain the independence of someone with dementia as much as possible and for as long as possible.
Most people with dementia are cared for in the community. Often, the main carer is a family member. It is important that carers get the full support and advice which is locally available. Support and advice may be needed from one or more of the following healthcare and allied professionals, depending on the severity of the dementia and the individual circumstances:
The level of care and support needed often changes over time. For example, some people with mild dementia can cope well in their own home which is very familiar to them. Some may live with a family member who does most of the caring. If things become worse, a place in a residential or nursing home may be best. The situation can be reviewed from time to time to make sure the appropriate levels of care and support are provided.
Whats The Connection Between Hearing Aids And Dementia
So why are these two problems loss of hearing and dementia even connected in the first place? Specialists themselves arent completely sure, but some theories are related to social isolation. Some people, when faced with loss of hearing, become less socially active. Sensory stimulation is the basis of another theory. All senses generate activity in the brain, and some scientists theorize that losing stimulation can result in cognitive decline over time.
You hear better when you wear your hearing aid. Providing a natural safeguard for your brain against cognitive decline and helping to keep your brain active. Thats why a connection between the two should not be unexpected and why hearing loss treatments can slow dementia by up to 75%.
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You Can Live With Dementia
If you want to know how to slow dementia, then please follow these tips.
As of now, there is no cure, but that doesnt mean there wont be one in the future. In the meantime, you can help your loved one stave off symptoms.
If you want to learn more about the signs of dementia or if you think an assisted living center might be right for you, please contact our experts today.
If You Live In England
Your GP may invite you to an NHS Health Check, or you can book an appointment by contacting them.
This NHS Health Check is available to anyone aged 4074 who lives in England and does not already have diabetes, heart, kidney or circulation problems. It is designed to find any early signs of these conditions and stop them getting worse. Ideally, you should have this check-up every five years.
After your health check, you can discuss any concerns with a healthcare professional and get advice on looking after your health, including reducing your risk of dementia.
If you already have any of these conditions, its still important to have regular health check-ups. However you dont need to book an NHS Health Check specifically.
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Hearing Loss And Dementia Risk
People with hearing loss in midlife are at a higher risk of dementia. Older adults with hearing problems also have higher odds of dementia except for those who use hearing aids. socially isolating, Larson said. Social isolation and inability to engage with others in speech and listening has a detrimental effect on maintaining brain reserve.
Heres what you can do:To prevent hearing loss, Larson urged people to avoid excessive noise. Those who have hearing difficulties should seek testing and, if appropriate, use a hearing aid.
Read more about past research on the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline
Enjoy A Glass Of Wine
Data from various studies displays a relationship between the consumption of wine and the advancement of Alzheimers disease. Although researchers have never found a direct linkage between wine and the probability of developing dementia, a tale suggests it may be beneficial to consume a glass of wine each day. To maintain your physical health, it is not recommended to drink more than 1 glass of wine during the week.
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Education And Cognitive Health
Receiving more education in early life mayreduce risk of dementia. According to Lon Schneider, an author of the report and professor of psychiatry, neurology, and gerontology at the University of Southern California, the more we learn, the more cognitive reserve we build up. While connections between brain cells, also known as synapses, may falter due to aging and sickness, You have more reserves to start with, so youre more resilient against illnesses, said Schneider.
Heres what you can do: Engaging in intellectual activities later in life can potentially help maintain cognitive abilities. One study in China which found people older than the age of 65 who read, played games or bet more frequently were less likely to develop dementia. Another study showed that people who participated in intellectual, physical and social activities in midlife were more likely to have better cognition in old age.
Read more about past research on the link between early childhood education and Alzheimers disease, the most common form of dementia.