As your senior loved one ages, Alzheimer’s disease may become a significant concern. There’s no certain way to prevent Alzheimer’s, but studies have shown some major lifestyle changes can keep it at bay or slow its progression. If your loved one is at risk, consider encouraging him or her to do the following.
1. Start Exercising
Seniors should get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, including both cardio and strength training workouts. Studies have shown exercise can cut Alzheimer’s risk in half. Exercises that test balance and coordination should also be a part of your loved one’s weekly regimen.
Regular physical activity boosts memory, and there are many other things your parent can do to remain healthy. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of elderly home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
2. Stop Smoking
Smoking can increase the risk of health conditions like heart disease and various cancers, and it can also raise the risk of Alzheimer’s in people over the age of 60. Scientists theorize this has something to do with inflammation and effects on the body’s oxygen levels. It’s never too late for your loved one to stop, but the sooner the better.
3. Socialize More Often
Seniors tend to become more isolated as they get older, and isolation and loneliness can play a major role in the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s. If your loved one tends to spend too much time alone, encourage him or her to go out and spend time with other people. Engaging in volunteering opportunities, family outings, part-time jobs, events at senior centers, church activities, classes, and hobbies are all great ways to start.
4. Eat Healthier
A poor diet is often associated with various health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Encourage your loved one to make some minor changes at first. Reduce the amount of sugar he or she eats, and increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut out the processed foods and cook more meals at home. The Mediterranean diet has been associated with reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other age-related health conditions.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Castle Rock elder care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
5. Challenge the Brain
It’s important to exercise the brain each day. This can be as simple as taking a different route to the grocery store or making memory flash cards and learning state capitals. Have your loved one keep a journal of the day’s activities to practice using his or her memory, and arrange family game or puzzle time. Buy a book of brainteasers your loved one can work on or encourage taking up a new hobby, studying a new language, or learning to play an instrument.
6. Reduce Stress
Seniors tend to be more stressed than younger adults because they have a wide variety of things to worry about, from finances to health issues. Help your loved one reduce his or her stress levels with lifestyle changes that include daily activities such as taking walks, spending time outdoors, or practicing breathing exercises. Meditation, prayer, and even laughter can also help.
Having a professional caregiver assist with daily tasks makes it easier to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive 24-hour care. Castle Rock seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. If you need a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, contact Home Care Assistance at 720-580-5378 today.