Friday, February 1, 2013
Looking for Ways to be Healthier and Reduce Dementia Risk?
(picture from 'A Place for Mom' website)
As we all know, dementia & Alzheimer's are diseases that we cannot control. The medical community has been pushing for ALL of us to eat better and smarter to try and avoid MANY types of diseases. So following their recommendations, which I grant changes often sometimes, we could all live healthier lives. So doctors, of course, suggest that our elderly parents eat better (look at any specific diet based on a medical condition - that too can be made better tasting) which will not only help them in general but could help reduce getting a memory loss condition.
Six ways to reduce your dementia risk:
*Live a heart healthy lifestyle - basically it means to exercise regularly, no smoking, eat a heart healthy diet (low fat, low sugar, lots of veggies).
*Use your brain - some researchers feel those with higher educational levels are less apt to get dementia or Alzheimer's. Their 'cognitive reserves' help to beat these diseases. I think a lot of studies have shown that those who stay mentally active can help keep their minds fresh.
*Protect your head - serious head trauma and loss of consciousness can aid in the future risk of Alzheimer's. Wear your seat belt, a bike helmet, and make sure homes are safe for those who may have eye or mobility problems.
*Moderate your alcohol use - the study says it found that in 2008, many dementia cases stem from alcohol abuse. It also reports that if you drink red wine for cardiovascular reasons, now it seems non-alcoholic red wine is the better way to go.
*Reduce stress and spend more time with friends - the Alzheimer's Association says it is not quite sure why an active social life and mental stimulation seems to protect the brain but it does. The active social life also helps longevity, happiness and good health.
*Get enough sleep - 'A September 2012 study found strong evidence indicating that the sleep-wake cycle helps to clear the brain of the amyloid plaques that are thought to cause Alzheimer’s, and another study from October 2012 found that healthy adults who report trouble sleeping have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s in the future. Research on sleep and memory that was published only a few days ago in the journal Nature Neuroscience seems to further affirm that when older people sleep poorly it can prevent them from “storing” memories and lead to dementia symptoms.' Strong words - something to think about. Just remember - you have to remember to think about it!!! Which is why we should all be doing the above.
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4 Signs of Caregiving Stress Overload
ElderCarelink email posts 4 signs that should not be overlooked by you, the caregiver, or a close family member or friend. They report that even though the immediate caregiver may not be helping in direct care, the mind is never far from the needs of the older person, thinking about meals, falling, medications. Take the opinion of a family member or friend if they are telling you that you are stressed. Four signs: you skip your own physicals; you isolate yourself from others; you eat and/or drink too much for good health; you are short tempered with the elder, your spouse or your children. If any or all of these sound familiar, take a break no matter how short in order to recharge. For more information on caregiver stress see ElderCarelink
You can check out my ranting and stream of consciousness writing about looking at adult service providers with Will.
A Caregiver's Poem
I was looking through a 'Caregiver's Blog: Senior Care Support' and came across a poem that was shared by a writer, Dana, from the blog. The poem was written by Becky Netherland and Dana's grandmother shared it with her. I thought it was great and there is not much to say about it - just read!!! Enjoy!!
(picture from Caregivers Blog)
I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.
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