Lower an Older Adult’s Risk for Alzheimer’s with These Five Healthy Lifestyle Choices
It’s well known that a healthy lifestyle provides many benefits for older adults, but according to new research, healthy lifestyle choices have been shown to significantly lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. With the number of Americans being diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s increasing, this new research, which identifies several healthy lifestyle factors, is an important step forward in understanding potential preventive measures that may help older adults.
In reviewing data from two longitudinal population studies, National Institute on Aging researchers identified five healthy lifestyle factors which have important long-term health benefits. Researchers found that study participants who followed four or five of the healthy lifestyle factors had a 60% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
The five lifestyle factors identified in the study that when practiced in combination with one another impact long-term cognitive health and healthy aging are:
Exercise. Strive for consistent, moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week. This equates to approximately 20 – 30 minutes of daily exercise, which can come from a combination of activities – walking, swimming, gardening, dancing, and more.
Diet. A healthy diet brings a variety of benefits, not just for cognitive health, but for physical health, too. Researchers recommend the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet. This combines the Mediterranean diet — fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, and other seafood, as well as unsaturated fats such as olive oils, and low amounts of red meat, eggs, and sweets with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which is focused on reducing high blood pressure, a known risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Engagement in life. Maintaining engagement in life by participating in activities that keep the mind active is important for overall mental and physical wellness. This can include crossword puzzles, logic and math activities, learning and practicing a new language or instrument, reading and more.
Light to moderate alcohol consumption. Limiting the use of alcohol is beneficial not just for reducing long-term Alzheimer’s risk, but also for physical and mental health. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to an increased risk of falls and can be used to mask symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Stopping or not starting smoking. Research has shown that even in people who have smoked for decades, stopping smoking brings improved health. In addition to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s, stopping smoking lowers a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
To help ensure senior loved ones are establishing and maintaining healthy lifestyle choices referred care providers work with your loved one to help implement and encourage healthy lifestyle choices based upon personal preferences and needs. Services are designed to enhance independence and can include:
- Friendly and engaging conversations about current and historic events
- A companion to help encourage regular physician-approved exercise
- Encouragement to engage in hobbies new and old to keep the mind sharp
- Meal planning and preparation and companionship during mealtime
- Light housekeeping and laundry to free up time for fun outings
- Specialized memory care activities for older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia
Why Choose LightSpring Home Care?
Our mission is to enhance the lives of individuals by giving them the best home care possible.
Our home care professionals look beyond the basic needs of our clients to become advocates for their physical and emotional well-being. Whether you are faced with a new diagnosis, recent surgery, or long-term health challenge, the care we provide is rooted in our core values.
Our senior care services allow our elderly clients to maintain as much independence as possible by providing the appropriate in-home assistance and companionship, lifting the spirits of both the elderly and the family caregivers.
LightSpring Home Care provides Home Care Services in the Philadelphia and surrounding cities.
Call us at 215-935-6321