Alzheimer’s disease is a scary subject. As a Family Caregiver, there is a chance that you have found yourself worrying that your senior loved one may be at risk for a disease that affects over 5.2 million individuals in the United States. Fortunately, there are ways you can help your loved one reduce their risk and symptoms.
Research has found that frequent brain activity increases the brain’s vitality and helps build brain cells and strengthens the brain’s connections. These advantages are all helpful, especially for seniors who may be developing or have a family history of Alzheimer's disease. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but specialists have identified steps you can take to make sure you loved one is living a healthy life that will strengthen their defenses against the disease.
Do You Know The Symptoms?
· Constant memory loss that affects your loved one’s ability to complete daily tasks.
· Loss of ability to solve simple problems, pay bills, follow a plan or other tasks once easy.
· Trouble finding a once familiar location, like a loved one’s home or church.
· Confusion of time or place.
· Change in vision or decline in understanding of colors and distance.
· New problems with speaking or writing.
· Misplacing items or loss of memory.
· Withdrawal from social activities.
· Poor judgment.
· Drastic changes in mood and personality.
How Can You Help Increase Brain Activity?
Just as other parts of the body lose agility as people age, the brain can also lose strength as an individual ages. Keeping your loved one’s brain active will increase her vitality and may build the brain’s reserve of cells and strengthen its connections. Here are some simple ways to keep her mind working that can also be a fun way for you and your loved one to spend quality time doing together:
· Encourage your loved one to stay involved in their community.
· Have them keep a journal or daily diary.
· Give them crossword puzzles, word searches or math puzzles to complete.
· Attend classes on a new hobby.
· Play board games.
· Write letters to friends and family.
What Else Can You Do?
Physical activity: This is the best way to maintain sufficient blood flow to the brain and also encourages generation of new brain cells. Physical activity is also important in reducing the chances of other health issues, including heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
Healthy Diet: A healthy diet is essential for everyone. However, for seniors, having a diet that reduces the risk of heart disease and encourages good blood flow is very helpful. Also, make sure that your loved one’s diet encourages a healthy weight. A study showed that in adults who were overweight were twice as likely to develop dementia in their later years. Those with high cholesterol and high blood pressure were also more likely to develop dementia.
It is important to know that you are not alone on your journey as a caregiver. The staff at Freudenthal Home Health is educated on medical topics such as Alzheimer’s and can assist you in providing quality home health care so that you can play the role both of a caregiver and a loving family member. Contact us today to find out the many ways we can be your partner in care.