Dementia prevention strategies means living life as if you are going to develop the disease…
There are many different types of dementia. Everyone knows someone with Alzheimer’s dementia, or someone caring for an individual with dementia. Some individuals carry the gene for Alzheimer’s disease. This however, does not mean that you will develop the disease. It means you have the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no sure way to prevent dementia, but there are lifestyle choices you can make that might help. Dementia prevention is a lifestyle choice. There is a process of physical and mental signs and symptoms that develop as part of the dementia process. Most people are aware that memory problems occur with dementia. No one discusses how dementia eventually affects an individual’s balance and walking, ability to swallow, or control ones bowel and bladder, or ability to speak or be understood. It generally starts out as a memory problems, but because it happens in the brain, and our brain controls every single function in our life, it gets much worse.
As the disease progresses, challenging behaviors will occur. Some negative behaviors can be very challenging. A solution to many behaviors is finding suitable activities that promote a sense of positive well-being and success. You are probably asking what does this have to do with dementia prevention. A healthy body supports a healthy brain. Lifestyle choices should include diet and exercise and trying to do something new and different every day.
More on dementia prevention strategies…
Preparing to develop dementia would include working on your balance, so if you were to develop a type of dementia, you may be able to maintain your balance longer. Incorporating tai chi or yoga is very beneficial. Tai Chi not only helps with balance through gentle stretching and movements, it helps balance to decrease stress. Tai chi is low impact and is great for older adults who may not otherwise be able to exercise. It is an inexpensive activity that requires no special equipment and can be done indoors or out.
Yoga is a non-aerobic activity and it is not without its risks. But if done carefully, it is not supposed to hurt. It is an activity that involves stretching and movements, as well as breathing that would promote balance and decrease stress period. Taking up hobbies that you can do with your hands is another positive lifestyle choice. You will benefit using your mind as well as your hands. As the disease progresses, your long-term memory will help you to be occupied as you lose different abilities and functions. Incorporating activities such as knitting, origami, painting, chiseling, sculpting are just a few hobbies that will not only keep your hands busy, but use your mind as well.
These activities will be important for you, if you do develop dementia. The person caring for you can help slow the progression of the disease by involving you in activities that are of interest to you. Thus, decreasing stress and negative behaviors that may arise out of boredom.
Of course, the goal here is actually dementia prevention. However incorporating these lifestyle changes is a win-win for you, as you learn something new and different it helps you live longer without developing dementia…and if you should develop it, it will help you live a better quality of life for you and your eventual caregiver.
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