The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 40 million people around the world have dementia, but a relatively new international campaign is helping to raise awareness about the disease. September 2014 marks the third year that World Alzheimer’s Month will be observed worldwide.
In honor of World Alzheimer’s Month, Caledon Home Care Assistance presents four ways that a home caregiver can help their aging loved one reduce their risk for developing dementia:
- Encourage Physical Activity – Many studies have shown a close correlation between heart health and brain health. Brain cells use around 20 percent of the nutrients and oxygen that blood vessels carry, and regular physical exercise is critical for good blood flow. Whether it’s participating in household chores, taking walks in the garden or dancing to music, encourage your loved one to stay physically active.
- Endorse a Brain-Healthy Diet – The ongoing Chicago Health and Aging Project study has found that diets rich in saturated fat triple the risk for dementia, making it of the utmost importance for seniors to adopt a low-fat diet. The groundbreaking study has also found that the antioxidants found in dark-colored vegetables and fruits may help protect brain cells against cognitive decline.
- Promote Social Interaction – Researchers still aren’t certain why social interaction lowers the risk for dementia, but believe that mental stimulation and stress reduction play significant roles. Helping seniors to stay in contact with family, friends and members of the community can lower their risk for cognitive decline. If you provide care on a part-time basis, try to make some of your visits strictly about spending time with your loved one. If your schedule allow for this, consider hiring a professional hourly home caregiver in Caledon who can offer your loved one companionship, emotional support and can even help with chores.
- Enjoy Mentally Stimulating Activities – Research shows that people who engage in mentally stimulating pastimes are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in life. Cognitive stimulation includes brain-teasers like word games and puzzles, but everyday activities like listening to music or following a recipe can stimulate the brain as well. Whatever you can do to encourage your loved one to remain mentally engaged with the world around them can help ward off dementia and improve quality of life.
Do you have an aging parent or loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? If so, learn more about Caledon Alzheimer’s home care offered by Home Care Assistance. Our highly trained caregivers specialize in care for seniors with cognitive conditions and know how to effectively manage symptoms throughout each stage of the disease. Each of our caregivers is also trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an in-home cognitive stimulation program unique to Home Care Assistance.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation, call 905-951-8885 and speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable Care Managers.