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Dementia is a topic no one wants to think about. The effects of this disease can be heartbreaking and can occur quickly, often without warning. Even in the case that symptoms are caught early, the treatment may only postpone the inevitable. Thankfully, as modern science has evolved, we’ve learned a lot more about Alzheimer’s. Here are some helpful lifestyle tips that can reduce the risk of dementia for seniors.
Focus on Cardiovascular Health
One of the largest risk factors for dementia is poor heart health. In fact, recent reports show that heart attack and strokes are implicated in roughly 50% of all cases of dementia. With that in mind, one of your best defenses is to stay healthy and keep up with your cardiovascular wellness. There’s an array of simple lifestyle tweaks that can greatly improve in this area, and most can be achieved with ease.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Regularly measure your blood pressure
- Regular, safe exercise
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Quitting smoking
Seniors can fend off dementia simply by staying engaged and involved in social activities around them. The routine that comes with these, along with the enriching process of communicating with friends, may prove to be a huge benefit when it comes to preventing symptoms of Alzheimer’s. There are many options open to seniors, whether they live independently, with family, or at a retirement facility.
- Arts and Crafts group
- Music or film appreciation meet-ups
- Bridge, Euchre, or board game groups
- Book clubs
- Square dance or ballroom groups
Participate in Continuous Learning
In general, any activity that keeps the brain focused and working hard can be hugely helpful in avoiding dementia. Much like staying social, the benefit of taking a class is that it keeps the mind active and alert, which helps to keep it from falling into disuse. Classes at community centers, local libraries, and the YMCA are all great places to start.
The food you eat plays a huge role in keeping the brain and body safe from dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s important to pair it with exercise and mental activities, but by sticking to suggested healthy diets you’ll reduce risk for cognitive decline. In fact, a recent study performed at the Rush University Medical Center developed an eating plan that they found could reduce the risk of developing the disease by as much as 53%. This diet includes eating the following.
- Vegetables, but leafy greens especially
- Whole Grains
- Olive Oil
As always, it’s important to discuss any dietary changes with your doctor.
Avoid Head Injuries at All Cost
A very common way for dementia symptoms to appear and progress is following any kind of trauma to the head. If you or your loved one are taking steps to stay active and exercise, it’s incredibly vital that you’re taking precautions to avoid any blows to the head. For these reasons, it might be helpful to avoid exercises that put you at risk for falls, such as running or biking. It’s also important to always wear appropriate safety equipment if you are engaging in activities that present this risk.
Reduce Financial Stress with a Life Settlement
Eliminating stress can play a huge factor in dementia-fighting activities, such as lowering blood pressure, anxiety levels, staying focused on activities, and maintaining a generally positive outlook. If you or a loved one is a senior citizen, you very well may be able to find more financial stability through a life settlement. Did you know if you still maintain a life insurance policy, you can sell all or a portion of your policy for an amount greater than the cash surrender value? This is known as a life settlement and can provide the stability you crave. Contact Life Settlement Advisors to learn more.
Edward, a widower for nearly 3 years, was looking for a way to fund his grandchildren’s college education. After speaking with his financial advisor, John decided to sell the joint life insurance policy he and his wife purchased for federal estate tax liquidity years ago.