4 years ago1,000+ Views
My grandma was a brilliant lady. She raised five children, spoke French, cooked incredible southern food, and was a fantastic bridge player. So why was it that her last ten years with us were significantly less bright? Her memories faded, fake memories grew more frequent, and she got more and more frustrated. Chances are, you have someone in your life similar to my grandma. Dementia affects an estimated 44 million people worldwide and that number is only expected to grow as our life expectancies rise. So what can we do to reduce our risk of this paralyzing disease? The sixth annual World Alzheimer's Report may shine more light on the situation. More and more studies show that what is good for your heart is also good for your brain. It's never too late to make some changes to improve your physical and mental well-being. Here are five things you can do right now to reduce your risk of dementia: 1. Look after your heart. Eat heart-healthy foods and focus on aerobic exercise. 2. Be physically active. Get that 30 minutes of activity a day! 3. Follow a healthy diet. Stay away from unhealthy fats, and chow down on the good ones! Keep your cholesterol low and your anti-oxidant intake high. 4. Challenge your brain. Learn a new language, solve puzzles, learn a new card game! 5. Enjoy social activity. Stimulate your brain with good old-fashioned human interaction. There is no known cure for dementia, but it is never too late to give those brain muscles a good stretch.
Looking at this list, I feel like I am both on a good path, and a not-so-good path; I think I started making my healthier choices a bit later than I should have. @danidee I'm very sorry to hear that, but your tips (can I learn a new language at my age?) seem to be great ones! I'll have to take some time to cook as well. That should make my wife happy, too.
Dementia is so frightening, and there's so much we still don't know about it. Just like so many other diseases prevention is really key, keeping your body and brain active and starting these habits when you're young can make a huge difference!
My mother died from complications of advanced dementia last year, and it has definitely had me looking at my own life and the adjustments I could make to it to improve my health in the long run. Some things are obvious (diet/exercise), but others are a lot harder to see. Learning how to cook! Learning a new language! Volunteering in the community! Not only are they fun, but they're constant learning experiences that really charge up your brain.
I think that staying active is a really big help. My grampy mowed the lawn himself and went to the gym at least 3 times a week until he was well into his 80s. His memory was awesome!
I think the point about it never being too late to start is key - even in your later years you can turn your brain power on full blast!
View more comments