Alzheimer’s disease is one of the biggest current public health threats, affecting millions worldwide. It’s also the only top 10 cause of death in the country with no known cure or clear-cut prevention strategy. However, many risk factors and biomarkers have been identified, making early detection, diagnosis, and intervention easier than ever before.
As a senior living community and memory care provider in Los Angeles, Melrose Gardens is familiar with scientifically-backed methods to address dementia and slow the onset of memory loss. In this article, we’ll discuss several ways you can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or slow its progression.
Improving activity levels has a major impact on brain health, making exercise an essential part of any memory care plan. Research has found that regular exercise protects the brain from Alzheimer’s-related cognitive decline. Exercise not only slows memory loss but can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 50%. Aside from keeping your mind sharp, staying active has many additional benefits for seniors, including improved heart health and reduced risk of falls.
Physical activity isn’t the only form of exercise that protects against memory loss; brain-training exercises are another necessary component of memory care. Keep your brain healthy by regularly engaging in cognitively demanding activities like learning new skills, solving puzzles, and playing musical instruments. Keep in mind that novelty is a necessary part of an effective mental workout, so be sure to change things up once in a while.
Eating healthy foods
Improving your diet is an effective way to improve your overall health, reduce the risk of dementia, and slow the onset of memory loss. Early research into the subject indicates that the Mediterranean diet may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s by several years when compared with a typical Western diet. The more flexible MIND diet, which emphasizes vegetables while limiting red meat, saturated fat, and sugar, has shown similar effects.
It can be difficult to remain social during retirement, which makes loneliness a major risk for some seniors, especially those dealing with memory loss. Isolation can worsen Alzheimer’s, while regular social interaction shows many benefits and can slow the progression of the disease. In fact, having a large network of friends has been linked with a lower risk of dementia as well as delayed cognitive decline. Moving to a senior living community is a great way to ensure you’ll be surrounded by ample social opportunities.
Curbing bad habits
Quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, losing weight, lowering blood sugar, and controlling blood pressure are all effective ways to protect against cognitive decline. Managing or preventing other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes, can also protect against Alzheimer’s. Luckily, you’ll naturally lower your risk of developing these problems by making the healthy lifestyle changes outlined above, such as eating more vegetables and staying active. But don’t forget about your mental health; stress and poor sleep are risk factors as well, which highlights the importance of practicing good sleep hygiene and effective stress management techniques.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can slow the onset or progression of memory loss as well as reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Whether you opt to focus on diet, exercise, stress management, or all of the above, it’s never too late to start making healthy changes to your lifestyle.
At Melrose Gardens, our senior living community feels more like a cozy residential neighborhood than an assisted living facility, and we’re proud of our beautiful campus. If you’re looking for memory care in the Los Angeles area and would like to learn more about us, click here to contact us today.