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Risk Factors for Dementia in Seniors

By Debbie Nunn, 9:00 am on

Developing dementia is one of the most common fears for the elderly and their family members. While it can’t always be avoided, there are certain things people can do to decrease the chances of developing dementia or slow its progression in people who are already living with the condition. If you are concerned your senior loved one is showing signs of dementia, talk to a doctor for an evaluation. Here are a few risk factors for dementia in seniors.

Cardiovascular Issues

Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes tends to increase the risk for dementia in the elderly. Help your loved one get cholesterol and blood pressure down to healthy levels, and control blood sugar as much as possible. Make sure any prescribed medication is being taken as directed.

Seniors can lower their risk of dementia by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance Clarksville to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Lack of Physical Activity

Encourage your loved one to remain as active as possible. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week is ideal. Swimming, walking, and biking are good low-impact exercises.

Poor Diet

Malnutrition and poor dietary habits can lead to chemical imbalances that cause dementia among seniors. Seniors who follow the Mediterranean diet fare the best as far as lowering chances of developing dementia. The Mediterranean diet consists of plenty of fish, veggies, olive oil, nuts, and fruits and is low in unhealthy fats and red meat. Drinking red wine in moderation is also part of this diet, but talk to a health professional about whether it’s safe for your loved one to drink.

Lack of Social Interaction

As people age, they sometimes lose their social ties, which can be a risk factor for developing dementia. Having a healthy social life can make a world of difference. Regularly seeing family and friends and staying connected to the world, even if it’s through email, video conferencing, or social media, can decrease the risk of dementia. See if there are any local senior groups nearby. Many cities have groups that take seniors on trips or get together for lunch to talk about different interests.

For families living in Clarksville, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Not Having Enough Mental Stimulation

Your loved one is never too old to develop new hobbies or interests. Reading and doing puzzles, word searches, or crossword puzzles can lower dementia risk in the elderly. In addition, learning new things like how to knit or garden can be key in helping the mind stay active and healthy. See if there is a senior center or community college nearby that offers adult extension courses in a subject your loved one is interested in. Consider taking a class together to combine quality time with learning.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia home care. Clarksville seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, give us a call at (931) 218-2781 today.

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