With medical advancements, people are now living longer. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean that they are living better. With an increasing number of people living past their 60s and 70s, there are more people suffering from degenerating bodies that are incapable of efficient functioning. One of the major ailments of old age is a degenerating brain, which results in dementia.
Dementia experts at Ashton House, a leading Burgess Hill nursing home, explain that the degeneration of the brain is essentially of two types – Alzheimer’s disease, which causes forgetfulness due to brain inactivity, and Vascular Dementia, which is caused by inadequate blood flow to the brain. Both these forms of dementia become incurable once they set in. The good news is that they can be prevented, that too with simple lifestyle changes.
Steps to Prevent Dementia in Old Age
A leading nursing home in Crawley says that dementia can be slowed and even prevented by following these simple steps:
Stay physically active: Introduce a fitness routine to your daily life. This does not have to be a strenuous one. Simple stretching exercises and yoga done for 30 minutes can improve your body’s metabolism. Choose any form of physical exertion that suits your abilities, while gradually increasing your heart rate. When your heart beats faster, your blood circulation improves, resulting in more blood flow to the brain, which facilitates its optimum functioning.
Eat healthy: A diet rich in nutrients, especially omega 3 fatty acids help maintain brain sharpness. Omega 3 fatty acids, found in salmon, algae, walnuts and avocados, help the accumulation of fat around the brain, enabling smoother transmission of information along the nervous system and faster brain activity. Dietitians at a Brighton nursing home highlight the importance of reducing saturated fats, found in cakes, cheese and biscuits, sugary foods and salt in the diet as one ages.
Quit smoking: Smoking is more prevalent among the baby boomers. However, this habit reduces blood circulation to the brain and kills brain cells. In order to lower the risk of dementia, one must consider quitting smoking. Apart from improved brain health, quitting smoking can also give you healthier lungs and improve your respiratory system.
Limit your alcohol consumption: The recommended limit for alcohol consumption is up to 14 units over a period of three or more days. This means up to 4-5 glasses of wine or about seven pints of beer. Consuming more alcohol than this can cause your brain to degenerate at a faster pace. When you accelerate the process of brain degeneration, you increase its vulnerability to dementia.
Watch your weight: According to caregivers at a nursing home in Crawley, dementia is closely associated with Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. When you watch your weight, you reduce the risk of brain degeneration. You can keep a notebook to maintain a record of your eating habits and calorie intake as well as your activity level and calorie burn. This will make you more conscious and responsible about your weight.
Dementia, which can cause loss of memory, suspicion and paranoia, is a difficult ailment to suffer and highly troublesome for family members who watch their loved ones change so drastically. So, follow these steps to keep yourself healthy and your family happy.