There are few prospects more unfortunate than that of experiencing the mental deterioration of dementia as we grow older. It is also very tough for those of us who have parents going through a disease such as Alzheimer’s or being a caregiver for someone with such a condition. All of us can rejoice in some research that has come out recently that shows a large number of cases of dementia are avoidable through lifestyle changes. The findings of a new study were presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). The study identified 9 risk factors that increase the chance of getting this dread disease. They are all things that have to do with how you live your life, and there are steps, therefore, that anyone can take to lower their risk of developing dementia by 35 percent. The nine ways to reduce these risk factors are:
The findings of a new study were presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). The study identified 9 risk factors that increase the chance of getting this dread disease. They are all things that have to do with how you live your life, and there are steps, therefore, that anyone can take to lower their risk of developing dementia by 35 percent. The nine ways to reduce these risk factors are:
- Continuing your education past the age of 15
- Reducing or preventing obesity
- Keeping your blood pressure within healthy norms
- Preventing diabetes
- Having any hearing loss that occurs in mid-life treated
- Not smoking
- Getting plenty of physical exercise
- Avoiding depression
- Avoiding social isolation
The study found that about one in three cases of dementia are attributable to the above causes. This gives all of us a powerful edge in lowering our chances of getting such a problem as we get older. The study found that three of these lifestyle factors are bigger contributors to dementia than the others.
The Three Biggest Ways to Combat Dementia
Continuing to get more education earlier in your life seems to be a big one. This intuitively makes sense since education tends to keep our minds engaged and occupied through reading and studying. Such mental stimulation helps the brain develop its neural networks to help it function at a higher level further into old age, and if you continue your education later into life, this could reduce your chance of getting dementia by 8 percent.
The other two factors that stuck out above the others were smoking and hearing loss. The researchers believe reducing smoking is beneficial because this will lower the amount of neurotoxins in your body and also improve your overall heart health. Hearing loss being a factor was new and a bit surprising. It is estimated that the treatment of all cases of hearing loss would reduce the occurrence of dementia cases by 9 percent.
While lifestyle choices will only lower and not eliminate your chances of getting dementia, this is still great news that you can have such a powerful impact on your likelihood of getting it simply through your life choices. Frequently, the emphasis has been on coming up with medical or pharmaceutical breakthroughs to prevent or combat Alzheimer’s and other diseases of dementia, but it’s nice to know there are things within our control that we can do that can help.
Spread This News to People You Care for and About
Perhaps you are someone who has a parent who is getting up in years and may develop or are already showing signs of dementia. You may be a caregiver for elderly people who are in a similar situation. Our caregivers at Age in Place Home Care want you to know the above information, so you can share it with anyone whose life you wish to enrich with knowledge that gives them greater control over their life. We are proud of the assisted-care living services we provide to seniors across Pennsylvania and hope you apply the knowledge above to improve the lives of those you love.