College of DuPage Nursing Student Jessie M. Amstadt shared with Healthy Lombard wonders if you ask yourself, Where did I put those keys…Why does that man look so familiar…I forgot where I live…What’s happening to me…Alzheimer’s Disease is a devastating condition that, sadly, a lot of people have personal experience with. Chances are each person knows one of the six million people that have been diagnosed, a fact reported by the Alzheimer’s Association (2021). As of today, there is still no cure, but there are ways to slow the progression.
Diet and Exercise
With more benefits than just weight control and heart health, diet and exercise have been known to help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. A diet rich in antioxidants has been shown to protect brain cells from damage. Food rich in antioxidants includes fresh or dried fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even common herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cumin, parsley, garlic, and paprika.
Staying active will help get the blood flowing to the brain, increasing the oxygen levels to help keep brain cells alive and healthy. There is no need to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, just doing moderate exercise for forty-five minutes three times a week is sufficient to stay healthy. Incorporating fun activities can make exercise more enjoyable. Why not try taking the children or grandchildren to the pool, joining a bowling league, or starting a power-walk and talk with friends?
Staying Mentally Active
When the workout is done, take some time to exercise the brain. Stimulating the brain can help create new pathways between cells and keep the brain mentally sharp for longer (Dementia Care Central, 2018). Trying a new recipe, reading a good book, doing a crossword puzzle, even watching a game show are all shown to improve brain function.
There is no need to do it alone. According to the University of Wisconsin (2020), studies show that socializing can help slow down Alzheimer’s and Dementia by decreasing stress and creating new brain pathways. Incorporate exercise and activities with friends and family by making weekly events such as a potluck (it will give an excuse to try out a new recipe), a water aerobics class, or a Bingo night.
While there may not be a cure to stop Alzheimer’s Disease from happening, there is still a way to fight it
DementiaCareCentral.com. (2018, September 1). Lifestyle changes that prevent or slow the progression of alzheimer’s & other dementias. https://www.dementiacarecentral.com/aboutdementia/facts/risk/.
Facts and figures. (2021). https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures#:~:text=More%20than%206%20million%20Americans%20of%20all%20ages%20have%20Alzheimer%27s,11.3%25)%20has%20Alzheimer%27s%20dementia.
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. (2018, November 16). Prevention: Social Interaction. UW Health. https://www.uwhealth.org/memorycare/prevention-social-interaction/52215#:~:text=Social%20interaction%20is%20an%20important,delay%20the%20progression%20of%20dementia.