How to manage dementia? Here are 7 lifestyle habits
Dementia is a complex and debilitating neurodegenerative disease. This is a progressive condition that affects a person’s thinking, behavior, and memory. Unfortunately, this disease worsens over time and can destroy memory. Last September, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on the public health response to dementia, drawing attention to the fact that more than 55 million people are living with dementia worldwide and there is a new case every 3 seconds. In fact, the WHO says it’s the seventh leading cause of death and a leading cause of addiction in the elderly, but people still hardly know how to deal with dementia.
How do you deal with dementia?
Although aging is the biggest risk factor for dementia, there is evidence that you can do something to reduce your own risk. This includes some lifestyle changes.
According to a study published by the American Academy of Neurology, both mental and physical activities, such as strait climbing or frequent visits to family and friends, are lifestyle changes that could reduce the risk of dementia.
That’s why Health Shots spoke to Dr. Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher, StemRx Bioscience Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Navi Mumbai.
Here are 7 lifestyle changes that can help manage dementia:
1. Maintaining an optimal weight
Being overweight or obese can increase blood pressure and the likelihood of type 2 diabetes, both of which are linked to dementia. It is imperative to eat a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Try to avoid unhealthy, processed, and canned foods.
2. Exercise daily
You may be shocked to know that a lack of physical activity can increase your chances of developing heart disease, being overweight or obese, and type 2 diabetes, all of which have been linked to dementia. Older adults who don’t exercise regularly may encounter memory problems later in life. So stay physically active on a regular basis. Try engaging in activities like brisk walking, biking, or dancing. Do strength exercises or yoga.
3. Avoid alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to stroke, heart disease and cancer affecting the nervous system and brain. After all, you can develop dementia later in life. Limit your alcohol consumption and stay healthy.
4. Quit smoking
Did you know that smoking narrows blood vessels, increases blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease? Smoking is a risk factor for dementia because it leads to cognitive impairment.
5. Stay stress free
Depression increases the risk of developing dementia. Try using relaxation techniques like meditation.
6. Take control of your health
As you age, your risk for health problems such as untreated high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes increases. These diseases are associated with an increased risk of dementia. That’s why it’s really important that you control yourself and follow a healthy routine to keep you safe and healthy.
7. Eat healthy
As you get older, it becomes even more important to eat healthy. Eating a healthy, balanced diet provides your body with all the nutrients it needs and can help reduce the risk of other diseases, including dementia. So eat whole grains like rice and pasta, fruits and green vegetables, red meat, fish, and use vegetable oils. You need to limit the consumption of sugary foods, alcohol and salt.