There are many factors that influence the risk of dementia. Some factors are beyond our control such as genetics and environment, but there are some steps you can take to help lower your risk of developing dementia.
1. Control high blood pressure
High blood pressure has harmful effects on the heart, blood vessels, and brain. These stress factors can increase the risk of stroke and vascular dementia. Treating high blood pressure with medication and healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercising and quitting smoking, may help reduce the risk of dementia.
2. Get plenty of sleep
Sleeping well is important for your mind and body. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Talk with a doctor if you are not getting enough sleep or if you think you may have a sleep disorder.
3. Maintain a healthy diet
Aim for a mix of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and seafood, unsaturated fats such as olive oil, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, and limit other fats and sugars.
4. Stay physically active
Physical activity has many health benefits, such as helping to prevent obesity, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.
5. Stay connected with family and friends
Connecting with people and engaging in social activities can prevent social isolation and loneliness, which are linked to higher risks for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate all risk of developing dementia these tips can help lower your risk and improve your overall health.
Ty Strahl is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) based in Spokane Washington. Her job is to help navigate the many aspects of aging and to help seniors who are in transition to find the right solutions for their individual needs.