The ABCs of Alzheimer’s Disease
Awareness is key when it comes to raising funds for Alzheimer’s research. It’s also important for early detection and prevention. If you are concerned that a senior you love may be developing the disease, it might help to learn more about the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s.
Some early symptoms include:
- Memory loss that disrupts everyday life
- Difficulty completing common tasks
- Loss of decision-making abilities
If you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss, a memory screening with their primary care physician could be the first step to Alzheimer’s detection.
B: Brain Exercise
The brain acts in a manner that is similar to a muscle. And like any muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Using your brain in new, engaging ways helps it form new neural connections that can keep it strong.
Brain aerobics—including activities such as reading, mastering a foreign language, or learning how to play an instrument— can help keep the brain strong. The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Organization says learning a new skill can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 70 percent.
C: Care for Alzheimer’s Patients
“C” represents care and the importance of learning more about the best ways to support people with Alzheimer’s at any stage of the disease. Care for Alzheimer’s patients includes engaging activities, a healthy diet, and medications that may help slow the progression of the disease.
A person with Alzheimer’s is still exactly that, a person. They may remember events that occurred decades ago much easier than recent ones. Reminisce about these times, share stories, and help them preserve these memories as long as possible.
D: Detection and Diagnosis
It is worth adding the letter “D” to the ABCs of Alzheimer’s Awareness because early detection and diagnosis is so important in attempting to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. This is another reason beyond adherence to routine health screenings that maintaining a strong relationship with a primary care doctor you trust is important.
If you suspect Alzheimer’s in yourself or a loved one, see a physician right away. They can perform the proper cognitive tests to determine if the symptoms might be Alzheimer’s or another entirely treatable illness.
In 2013, the results of a 35-year study on the health habits of over 2,200 men were published. One of the key findings was that regular exercise seemed to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and similar forms of dementia. Most health care experts say getting 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week is best.
F: Make Brain-Healthy Food Choices
We all know there are many reasons we should eat a well-balanced diet. Alzheimer’s prevention is one more reason to add to the list. Eating well may help you avoid developing diabetes and high cholesterol, which some researchers say increase the risk for Alzheimer’s. A few tips for eating a well-balanced diet include consuming:
- Lots of fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Very little dairy or red meat
- Omega-3 rich foods, like fish and broccoli
G: Gardening, Yoga, Mindfulness, and Other De-Stressors
It’s fairly common knowledge that stress can do terrible things to the mind and body. Now there is growing evidence that stress may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. A long-term study in Sweden found that women who experienced high levels of stress were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia later in life. That’s why it’s important to find healthy ways to manage your stress. Meditation, nature walks, gardening, and yoga are a few to consider.
Montessori Techniques for Memory Care
Alzheimer’s disease affects 5.4 million Americans and their loved ones. It’s why exploring ways to treat the symptoms and finding a cure is a task for everyone.
Montessori-based Dementia Programming, based on the Montessori methodology taught in primary schools, focuses on adults with Alzheimer’s as unique individuals with different traits.
A Montessori-based memory care program focuses on residents’ individual interests, capabilities, strengths and needs. It builds on their existing skills and capabilities, enabling and encouraging participants to complete tasks on their own.
Memory Care at Five Star Senior Living
The Bridge to Rediscovery Memory Care program at Five Star Senior Living uses Montessori-based Dementia Programming to treat older adults with care and dignity. Call us today to find out if the program is right for your loved one.