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Alzheimer & Dementia Care

Best Effective Activities for Preventing Dementia

Dementia is a slow but progressive disease. The expense of treatment for dementia patients can frequently surpass the overall expense of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Researchers are constantly looking for a cure and to pinpoint the particular reasons for dementia. Considering the harm that dementia can have on people, their families, and the staggering expense of the treatment, we can opt for a good approach that can help decrease the risks of dementia. 

The risks of dementia can be reduced by making some simple yet viable way of life changes. Certain activities may help reduce dementia, slow it down or even invert a portion of the side effects. Significant symptoms of dementia are:

  • Having a problem with language, forgetting the name of everyday things and words. 
  • Repeating the same questions again and again over time. 
  • Not able to recognize even similar faces, voices, or places. 
  • Become disoriented and unable to locate familiar places in or around the house.  
  • Unable to manage time. 
  • Decreased nutrition sense. 
  • Lack a sense of hygiene

Following are a few best activities for preventing dementia:  

Nutrition Changes – Eating Healthy

Eating Healthy means watching over your weight; bringing down cholesterol and ensuring that the foods you eat have enough vitamins and nutrients that your body needs for a healthy and active lifestyle. 

In short, you should keep away from foods that are high in fat and loaded with artificial sweeteners and chemicals, such as overly processed foods.

According to an article written by Medical Daily, unhygienic and unhealthy foods such as junk foods that have high fats, additives, and processed can influence memory and increase risk of dementia, particularly in older adults. However, omega-3 and freshly produced foods that are rich in antioxidants can help shield the body from dementia. Here is the list of some nutritional food items that can help build a better immune system:

  • Fruits that contain a high amount of antioxidants and fiber such as berries, oranges, and prunes. 
  • Beans with fiber and nutrients like chickpeas, barley, lentils and pulses. 
  • Oils that are low in fats and high in omega-3 such as olive oil. 
  • Fish that is high in protein and all the good omegas such as salmon, sardines, and tuna. 
  • Vegetables that are high in nutrients and antioxidants such as celery, spinach, onion, broccoli, and carrots. 

To know about more foods that can boost your immune system, check out this article written by Medical News Today.

Lifestyle Changes 

The best thing you can do to prevent dementia is making healthy lifestyle choices such as cutting down on sugars and refined carbs, which are found in highly processed white flour, pasta, rice, bread, sauces, and oats. Go for less processed, brown varieties that are rich in fiber such as brown bread. In other words, the more the food is processed, the more likely it can cause inflammation. 

Drinking about two to three cups of tea daily is recommended as it can help aid mental alertness. Espresso and tea show groundbreaking results on brain functionality. Homemade items are the best way to consume a healthy diet as ingredients are used according to the requirement of taste and nutrition. According to the report by the Global Council, following are some food supplements that support brain health:

  • Caffeine
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 fatty acids 
  • B vitamins
  • Coenzyme Q10

Walking

Walking is always a good choice, especially if it has a purpose. A regular walk in the fresh air can do wonders to your health including improved heart and lung function, increased observation skills, stabilizing blood pressure, supportive digestive issues, lowering blood sugar, and reduction of anxiety and insomnia. You can also use a pedometer to track your progress over a certain period.

You should walk in different places, for example, woods or by a river. According to a study, one hour of exercises that include taking a walk regularly can halve dementia risk. 

Workout

A good workout, after a healthy diet, is rated as the second most significant thing that you can do to decrease your risks of creating dementia. Just by exercise alone, you can lessen your risk by half. Also, individuals who are, as of now, encountering cognitive problems, can exercise to help hinder any further deterioration. A moderate blend of cardio and strength training exercises every week can be beneficial to a person who wants to prevent dementia. Moderate exercise includes swimming and walking. 

By including two to three quality sessions every seven days, the risks of dementia can be diminished significantly. According to a long-term study, which is also published by BBC UK, exercise plays a significant role in reducing risk of dementia. You can also go for therapeutic treatment that includes yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. 

Releasing Stress 

Too much stress isn’t good for health as it can take a heavy toll on the brain and lead to shrinkage in a key area in one’s brain that focuses on memory. There are lots of things that you can do to de-stress, such as entertaining yourself, laughing, and having fun with your loved ones. 

According to an article by helpguide, laughter is the best medicine as it doesn’t just de-stresses your mind but also relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system, protects the heart, and even helps burn calories. 

Another best thing to do to release stress is reading books. While you are reading, you are allowing your mind to think and reason. Reading a fascinating novel can help you get away from your own upsetting situation and negative thoughts that might be currently disturbing your brain.

Socializing 

Sharing ideas and interacting with people is one of the best ways to relax your mind’s mental state. To prevent a state of anxiety and depression, one should get along with people as much as possible. Isolation has become one significant part of today’s society. People have bounded themselves, leading to encouraging risk factors of dementia. Start prioritizing and make new friends. Some of the major social activities are:

  • Arranging a trip to somewhere or watching a movie in the cinema. 
  • Attending events and concerts. 
  • Getting in touch with old friends or exploring new friends. 
  • Keeping the family, friends, and relatives close to yourself through social media, phone calls or texts. 

Learning New Skills 

Making a bucket list of things you always wanted to do is probably the best thing. Learn new stuff, travel more, explore things, and follow different cultures. Learning or adopting a new skill can sharpen the brain, hence reducing your risk of developing dementia.

Musical Therapy 

Music connects a person to memories or relaxes the mind by giving a soothing effect to the brain. The taste of music is developed based on instruments and vocals. Learning a musical instrument is another best way to relax the mind’s mental state, while praising music can also help cure dementia. It can create advance positive psychological well-being. Likewise, music can help to recover valuable memories. 

For more information regarding the relation between dementia and music, click here.

Playing Games (Indoor/Outdoor) 

Extracurricular activities are also helpful in decreasing risk factors that develop dementia. Games are an essential part of improving neural and physical activity. Board games are one way to socialize and prevent dementia.

Although playing board games is considered mostly time-wasting or idle by many people, it is not true because they allow active brain development, improve strategy, and help socialize. 

Getting a Quality Sleep 

Getting a good nap or sleep results in better functioning of the brain and allows it to cope with what you face the next day. Quality sleep can give our body a chance to refresh, relax, and restore energy for the next day. 

Here are a few things you can do to have a quality sleep: 

  • Prevent the usage of phones, laptops, tablets or any technology before going to sleep. 
  • Making a to-do list before sleeping, for example, you can start writing a journal about daily activity. 
  • Taking a bath before sleeping to relax your body. 
  • Reading books.
  • Taking chamomile tea as it can help soothe your brain. 

Cognitive Tests 

To increase brain capacity and improve mental skills, puzzles and cognitive exercises are the best options. Puzzles of different strategies and levels are available in books, newspapers, cell phones, or laptops. Almost every puzzle is designed to perform on different levels of difficulty. Puzzles are neither constant, nor they give you the same challenge. Following are some cognitive exercises that you can perform:

  • Sudoku 
  • Crossword
  • IQ tests 
  • Math problems 
  • Word game 
  • Illusions 
  • Memory tests 
  • Finding things 
  • Logical riddles 

Conclusion 

Getting involved in healthy activities like nutrition plans, workout routines, socializing, and playing games can help prevent dementia.

On the other hand, an unhealthy diet and saturated fats can affect memory and physical behavior of your body and stamina. Walking improves many risk factors of dementia as well. Start prioritizing and make new friends. 

Although dementia is not completely curable, it can be prevented by using the medication in the early stages and practicing all the activities that we have mentioned above. 

Dementia is slow but progressive, and so is the treatment. Stay healthy!

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