Maintaining Health and Independence through Active Ageing Classes with AltairaJanuary 9, 2023
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Although there is no certain evidence to indicate that dementia can be completely prevented, there is strong evidence that proves that a healthy lifestyle can help to at least reduce the chances of developing the condition. The number of people with dementia is predicted to triple in the next 30 years so it is especially important now more than eve that people are made aware of any sort of way that cognitive decline and dementia can be prevented. A study that included data from nearly 3000 participants showed that those that followed 4 or all 5 of the healthy behaviours had a 60% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
It is often said that what is good for your heart is also good for your brain! Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and staying away from foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar can help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. This lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or becoming obese; both risk factors of Alzheimer’s’ disease and vascular dementia.
Lack of physical activity is another risk factor for dementia as this can increase the risk for heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes also. Physical activity is also so beneficial for mental health and studies have shown that adults who do not exercise are more likely to suffer from poorer cognitive ability. Participating in at least 150 minutes or just 2 and a half hours a week of physical activity is an important factor of healthy ageing. Even simple activities such as gardening or taking the stairs instead of elevator are beneficial ways to keep your body moving regularly.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol also increases the risk for dementia as it can cause damage to the brain. It is recommended to drink alcohol in moderation to not expose the brain to too many harmful chemicals. Smoking also increases the risk of developing dementia as it affects the circulation of blood around the body and causes the arteries to narrow.
A really important lifestyle choice that can have an impact on your chances of developing dementia later in life is mental health and engagement in social activities. Regularly participating in social activities and maintaining connections with friends, family and community has shown to improve mood, relieve stress and lower the risk of developing dementia. Also engaging in activities that stimulate the brain such as reading, puzzles or playing an instrument is linked with lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
These are all healthy lifestyle habits than can be implemented at any stage through life and are especially important during midlife to lower your chances of developing dementia. It is also particularly important if you are over 65 years of age to regularly look out for any signs and symptoms of dementia and have regular health checks to decrease risk of conditions that can contribute to dementia such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
The staff at Altaira are dedicated to caring for the aged communities and providing high-quality resources and support to help seniors maintain their wellbeing and stay healthy for as long as possible! Altaira provides a range of allied health services led by passionate and skilled team members that the aged community can utilise to help implement healthy lifestyle habits like these. Learn more about Altaira’s Allied Health services: Allied Health – Altaira Services