weekly blog--one for the ages
This week’s blog was inspired by an article in the Boston Globe. If not cancer, the bear in the room for many people of age is Alzheimer’s. Losing memory and becoming disoriented are not things one looks forward to. Currently, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to triple by 2050.
Often overlooked are the devastating affects Alzheimer’s can have on the caregiver who is equally at risk for health problems related to depression, anxiety, stress, and isolation. Enter the world of the dementia care consultant who can help design a plan to manage the day-to-day needs of patients, provide emotional support, and find local respite services such as a Home Care Agency or Adult Day Center. Learn more: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/jun/01/working-life-dementia-consultant
Separately, what’s the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s? While research is not yet conclusive, the Alzheimer’s Association says that certain lifestyle choices, such as physical activity and diet, may help protect your brain. Two diets of note: DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and Mediterranean.
The DASH diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits and fat-free or low-fat dairy products; includes whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils; and limits sodium, sweets, sugary beverages, and red meats. A Mediterranean diet includes relatively little red meat and emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, and nuts, olive oil and other healthy fats.
Also, a number of studies indicate that maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's. Experts are not certain why this happens, but speculate that it may be due to direct mechanisms through which social and mental stimulation strengthen connections between nerve cells in the brain.
Learn more: www.confrontingaging.com/eating--exercise.html