Alzheimer's Care Resources
8 Things Adults in Indiana Can Do to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s
February 3, 2015
If you are an adult child caring for an Indiana loved one who has Alzheimer’s, you have likely wondered whether or not you are at increased risk for the disease and if there is anything you can do to prevent developing it.
Unfortunately, research to explore whether Alzheimer’s is hereditary is still inconclusive. Primarily because the cause of the disease has yet to be determined. One form of the illness that does seem to run in families is early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD). It can strike people when they are as young as forty.
8 Steps for Alzheimer’s Prevention
Despite so much uncertainty surrounding the reasons some members of a family develop Alzheimer’s while others don’t, researchers believe there are steps you can take to decrease your risk. Here are a few suggestions for you and your Indiana loved ones to try:
- Eat a well-balanced diet: People who adopt what is considered to be a Mediterranean style diet have lower incidences of Alzheimer’s disease. This way of eating focuses on fruit, vegetables, fish, beans and nuts. The non-profit organization, Oldways, is considered to be one of the leading sources of information and education on the Mediterranean diet.
- Get regular exercise: Making exercise a part of your daily routine can also help you lower your risk for Alzheimer’s. While researchers aren’t exactly sure why, they believe it is because exercise helps to lower blood pressure and decrease anxiety. Both of these conditions have been tied to higher rates of Alzheimer’s. Try to get 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
- Practice brain aerobics: Giving your brain a daily workout can help keep your neurons firing and potentially avoid the build-up of plaques believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s . Some of the best ways to do that include assemble puzzles, work crossword, play games and cards, learn to speak a foreign language, read, keep up with current events, and play a musical instrument. Each of these activities helps by continuing to challenge your brain.
- Stop smoking: We frequently hear how dangerous smoking is for our health. People who smoke have higher rates of heart disease, cancer and strokes. What isn’t as commonly known is that smokers are also at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, studies say smokers have 157% higher risk for Alzheimer’s than non-smokers.
- Enjoy your coffee: Drinking three or four cups of coffee each day might just help you reduce your chance of dementia. Check with your physician on this first. People with health conditions such as coronary disease may still be advised to limit caffeine intake.
- Red wine might help: While this topic might be a little controversial, some research has shown that Polyphenol, an ingredient found in red wine may help reduce plaque formations. This is another one to discuss with your primary care doctor.
- Get your omegas: Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your daily diet is another preventative step you can take to slow or prevent cognitive decline. A few foods rich in them are salmon, tuna, anchovies, and walnuts.
- Manage stress: Caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is mentally and physically exhausting. The stress it creates can put Indiana caregivers at greater risk for a variety of health conditions. Take advantage of the respite care services offered at local Indiana senior living communities so you can take a break and rest.
We hope these tips give you a better understanding of the steps you can take that may help you avoid developing Alzheimer’s disease.