Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are two of the scariest expeditions of the mind, a wandering ship without a captain, destinations to go without a map, but plans for prevention at bay. Forgetting names, faces and places, forgoing simple tasks and making poor decisions are just some of the symptoms a doctor takes into consideration when giving a diagnosis. Prevention and treatment can slow the dreaded process down a bit, but often the damage has been done over time. Prevention of disease needs to start when a person is young, not waiting to fix it all when they are older.
While dementia is a component of Alzheimer’s disease, it can also be a result of infection, concussion or stroke. Often as the patient heals, they will regain memory skills once again. Although dementia is not always preventable due to variable causes, its association with Alzheimer’s Disease may well be able to be slowed down.
The collective cabinet of the brain is influenced by many factors and progressive dementia may mean the more serious diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. Both conditions can benefit from six key tactics of prevention to slow down lingering effects. Prevention options and life choices are key to a long healthy life. While dementia can be debilitating and confusing to an individual, it can be equally, if not more, troublesome and heart wrenching for the loved ones standing by. Some cases are hereditary, but if great-grandmothers and grandfathers had failing minds, the destiny of the descendants does not always mean the same. Being pro-active in one’s life plays a huge role in good health, longevity and final outcomes.
Dementia is also a symptom of diseases other than Alzheimer’s, such as Huntington’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Memory loss and clouding of the mind can be called dementia, even if it is a temporary condition. The majority of dementia cases are attributed and put into the category of Alzheimer’s, meaning more long term effects will likely occur and be permanent. The malfunction of the brain, not being able to remember, process information normally or function in daily life, brings on many twists and turns as the body may still be healthy and able. It is a sad situation and still under much research, as drug companies rush to save the millions that suffer. The bafflement of not knowing how and why it occurs, still haunts many victims, family members and doctors.
While many wait for cures, miracle drugs and glimmers of hope, six easy tactics of prevention are readily available. Even after a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, they can be guided by friends and loved ones, yielding a slower process of the disease’s effects. Hope of a full recovery may not always be a reality, as most Alzheimer patients are elderly and towards the end of their years. Growing old is not fun, but the golden years still can be very fulfilling and rewarding, with someone there to help. Looking ahead into the twilight age of life, before old age creeps in, young people still have an opportunity to use an ounce of prevention before that time comes. There are six very easy and key tactics that can be used in life, easily achieved with better outcomes for seniors in training. Old age can not be prevented, but staying young and healthy may be easier than you think. The extra effort could well be worth it in the end.
Old adages and cliches’ are true when it comes to life. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and you are what you eat. It all plays out over time. The six easy tactics for preventing adverse effects of old age and disease are like the ABC’s of life, at each one’s fingertips if we so choose. Getting back to the basics of human health are key and can have amazing results if followed through.
The food we put into our bodies as fuel, can be restoring, healing and used as food for the brain. Each vital organ depends on the proper nutrients and vitamins to survive. Filling up on the usual fare of fast food and snacks plays into the long term health of the brain. The brain is connected to major arteries throughout the body, and if they are clogged up, plaque deposits not only form in the blood stream, but find resting places in the brain. Memory cells are compromised by the ongoing diet of high cholesterol and fatty foods. A routine of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy products in the right amounts are aided by supplements such as fish oil, vitamins D and B12, folic acid and magnesium. Good diet is step one in prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Proper and restful sleep in a comfortable bed without distractions goes a long way. Being rested, eases the mind of worries and brings on natural healing the body requires. Sleep times vary with at least six to eight hours being ideal. Relying on morning coffee and energy drinks has a cumulative effect in the long run. The mind needs some down time to regenerate and keep on going.
Exercise, as dreadful and unappealing as it can be, is much better than keeping stationary behind a computer all day. Just a short walk will do wonders to ease aches and pains. The sights and the sounds, plus the rhythm of a measured step, improves all the muscles and gives the brain new senses to take in. Once good exercise routines are established, it can be a fun and very rewarding way to stay in shape and keep the mind alert.
Finding ways to relieve stress is a huge benefit in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. The hectic lifestyles many people lead, can cause the brain to continue to work overtime, taxing its very cells and causing overload in ways untold. With forty or fifty years of new data coming in daily, the brain may simply zone out and stop functioning. A little break once in a while, keeps the brain fresh with new ideas and able to work like it should. Prayer, meditation, recounting old memories and looking at photographs can do wonders and help to rid the mind of stressful events and tons of information. Give your brain a break and commune with nature, taking in the beauty of the natural earth.
SOCIALIZATION and HOBBIES
Social media has taken over the usual meeting up with friends for a dinner date or movie. Keeping active with events, volunteering with projects and interacting in person does more for the mind than isolation with books and a TV. Reading is a good way to expand the mind, and so is getting involved with book clubs with people outside your comfort zone. Being confined and being self-sufficient does not always work well with the brain that craves attention, love and socialization. Give your brain a treat and go on a date with a pal to the movies or ballgame. Stimulation from conversation and being with others is an excellent tactic to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer patients have also greatly benefited from creative projects. The mind is a complex organ and needs to be challenged. Studies have proven that doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles help stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s. Hobbies, music and art are all key components to a keeping a healthy mind. The satisfaction and the expression of oneself can continue to keep the mind alert and active.
Encouraging your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease can be a challenge and hard work, but in the end, both the patient and others will show signs of joy and improvement. If the disease is not cured, at least many things can be done to slow down the effects. For the still young at heart and in years, your time has not yet come, so do what you can with these six easy tactics of prevention. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
By: Roanne H. FitzGibbon