Author: Georgina Clatworthy
Published: Nov 14 2012
The thought of losing the ability to remember people or places is a scary one for people who are getting older. Even the thought of not being able to think clearly is frightening. Unfortunately, dementia and Alzheimer's Disease is on the rise. If the disease runs in your family, you do not have to give up hope. Thankfully, there are many things that you can do to help prevent or delay the onset of dementia from happening.
Even though genetics has the biggest impact on whether or not you will be affected, there are some things that can be done daily to help ward it off. Our friends from an assisted living Atlanta-based community suggests that if you suspect that you might be susceptible to developing dementia, you should talk to your doctor. They can look for any warning signs that you might have. To diagnose dementia, doctors will first take a look at your family history. If you are at risk for it, they will employ a number of tests to identify whether you have it or not.
- Patient history
- Neurological evaluations
- Physical examination
- Brain scans
- Cognitive and neuropsychological tests
- Laboratory tests
- Presymptomatic testing
- Psychiatric evaluation
Take Care of your Heart
Your heart is a very important part of your overall health. Small strokes can lead to developing vascular dementia. This happens because your blood supply gets altered during a stroke which results in your cognitive ability being affected. Taking care of your heart will lower your risk of strokes, heart attacks and dementia.
It has been proven that just 15 to 20 minutes of exercise three days a week or more can significantly reduce your risk of dementia. If you walk just 30 minutes every day, you will keep your heart, body and mind much healthier. If you don't like walking, you can always mix in other activities such as swimming or bike riding.
Challenge your Brain
An easy and great way to reduce your risk of dementia is to keep your brain active. Just like your body needs physical exercise, your brain needs exercise as well to stay healthy. Activities like reading, solving puzzles and learning new things is an effective way to help ward off dementia. Playing games and learning a new language are also fun and easy ways to keep your brain challenged and healthy.
As people get older, it can be easy to shy away from many social activities for lots of reasons. People who stay in touch regularly with friends and family tend to preserve their brain's functions better than those who do not stay socially active. Meeting new people and going out regularly to interact with others is a great way to ward off dementia.
These are just a few of the ways to help ward off dementia. Your chances of succumbing to the disease come down to your lifestyle, eating habits and your genetics. If you think you are at risk of getting the disease, it is important to talk to your doctor. Detecting the disease in its early stages is important for successfully treating the symptoms. Early diagnosis will also help the affected person plan for their future should they have to live with the disease and its symptoms.
Georgina Clatworthy is a freelance writer who regularly writes on topics relating to health and well-being. She contributes this article on behalf of assisted living Atlanta - based provider Dogwood Forest. Their assisted living communities are designed to provide environments conducive with providing everything seniors need to maintain their health as well as both physical and mental well-being.
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