According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia. And that number is steadily increasing, making it important to have a good understanding of dementia and its symptoms.
Read on as our team of in-home care providers at Qualicare North York offer some perspective.
What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, which affects a person's memory, thinking and behavior. Although researchers aren't entirely sure why some people are at a greater risk than others, there are some specific risk factors, including:
- Advanced age
- Female gender
- Family history of dementia
- Head injury
Out of all the aforementioned risk factors, advanced age is probably the biggest risk factor, as one in six people over the age of 80 are living with dementia. Therefore, since age is certainly not a risk factor that can be controlled, it is important to take steps now to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease later in life.
What Can Help to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease?
Prevention is always the best treatment for any disease. Let's take a look at ways you might be able to lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease:
First, you want to make sure to avoid smoking. Why? Because smoking and tobacco use have been tied with cognitive decline, since they narrow the arteries of the brain and have other negative impacts.
You also want to make sure you are taking steps to prevent other vascular conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Eating a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy is a key step toward keeping your health numbers in check.
Exercise also plays a vital role in reducing a person's risk of Alzheimer's disease. And we're not just talking about physical exercise—you also want to incorporate activities that exercise the mind. That can include learning new hobbies or languages or playing word games and puzzles, really anything that challenges the brain in a new and different way.
Are you looking for someone to help care for your loved one in the comfort of home? Contact our in-home care providers at Qualicare North York to learn how we can help.