Jun 8, 2018 by Nick Miller
Alzheimer's disease is the only top 10 cause of death in the United States that cannot be cured, slowed, or prevented. It is a deadly disease kills more American seniors than both prostate and breast cancer and a new case of Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed every 66 seconds.
While these are not happy facts, it is important that seniors and their families understand the importance of a healthy senior brain. For example, Alzheimer's disease is not the only form of dementia or the only cause of cognitive decline. Further, genetics has less to do with a strong brain than a healthy lifestyle. This means seniors should not give up just because somebody else in their family tree had dementia or another cognitive issue.
In fact, seniors who do not smoke, limit alcohol consumption, exercise regularly, and maintain an active brain have a significantly reduced risk of dementia and other brain disorders. While there are many reasons behind these findings, one of the primary issues at play is blood flow. Both smoking and alcohol consumption restrict blood flow to the brain while exercise increases it. Regular cardio exercise also lowers blood pressure and increases growth hormone levels.
Keeping the brain active is also important. By replacing passive activities, like watching tv (which can lead to cognitive decline) with activities that challenge the brain, cognition can be preserved and even improved.
If a senior loved one does get diagnosed with a brain issue, it is important to get appropriate help and come up with a long-term plan. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are progressive disorders that will eventually require 24 hr home care if the senior is to safely age in place. Comfort Keepers specializes is dementia and Alzheimer's care and provides appropriate supports from the initial diagnosis up to 24 hr home care, respite care, and end of life care.
In short, there are many things seniors can do to lessen the risk of cognitive decline and many brain disorders. Even so, some seniors will end up with dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or another progressive disorder. In this situation, education and support is vital. If you or your loved one need more information about any one of these issues or are in need of support, including 24 hr home care, give a Comfort Keepers senior care coordinator a call today.
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