Adult children who have a parent with Alzheimer’s disease often worry they will develop it. It is an understandable concern for someone who has seen the debilitating impact the disease caused on their loved one. While scientists haven’t yet been successful in pinpointing the cause of Alzheimer’s, they feel fairly confident there are steps we can all take to delay or prevent developing this disease.
- Go Mediterranean: Adopting the Mediterranean style of eating can help lower your risk for cancer, heart disease and dementia. The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is considered by many to be the gold standard in healthy eating. It focuses on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, olive oil, fish, red wine and a limited amount of dairy.
- Stop Smoking: Cigarettes are linked to more than cancer and heart disease. Statistics show that smokers also have as much as 157% greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s. If you are a smoker concerned that a parent’s Alzheimer’s may put you at higher risk for developing the disease, one of the best things you can do to prevent it may be to stop smoking.
- Socialize: Isolation has been linked to health conditions that range from depression to obesity. Staying social is another step you can take to keep your brain healthy. Volunteer work, taking classes, and getting together with friends are all good for your mental and physical health.
- Pump Up Your Grey Matter: Keeping your brain healthy and fit means giving it a daily workout. Activities known to help you pump up your grey matter include learning a musical instrument, tackling a foreign language, working crossword puzzles, reading, and taking on new and different challenges.
- Enjoy Your Joe: Researchers often disagree on the pros and cons of coffee drinking. In years past, we were discouraged from consuming more than a cup a day. Recently, however, studies seem to show that drinking up to four cups a day of coffee may help prevent Alzheimer’s. People with a history of coronary disease should speak with their cardiologist for advice before drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages.
- Sip Your Grapes: Drinking one glass of red wine or purple grape juice a day may help protect your brain cells. Grape skins have been shown to help protect the brain from toxic effects of oxidative stress and beta amyloid.
- Omega Power: The Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like salmon, tuna, and walnuts may help delay or prevent a decline in cognitive health and conditions like Alzheimer’s. Researchers believe the anti-inflammatory powers of Omega-3 fatty acids protect brain cell membranes.
- Manage Your Blood Pressure: Working with your primary care physician to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level may also protect your brain. People with high blood pressure have higher incidences of both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s.
If a senior you love lives with Alzheimer’s disease and you are struggling to keep them safe at home, we can help. Randall Residence Memory Care in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio offer structured dementia care programs that provide the stability of a routine while maximizing independence and autonomy.