I came across an interesting article this morning that talked about how seniors who are "housebound" may double their risk of developing Alzheimer's. Although being confined in your home is not the sole cause of dementia, isolation within the home may be a factor. People who remain in their homes do not stimulate their minds by engaging with their environment and meeting new people. With that said, companionship is integral to one’s health. Therefore, if your parents do not live close by, it may be smart to hire a home care agency to send a caregiver over a few days a week to work with your parent or loved one. The caregiver can help your parent get out of the house to go for a walk, discuss current events and cook them nutritious, regular meals.
An estimated 5.2 million Americans are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, with that number expecting to grow to as many as 7.7 million by 2030. The study, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, looks at something known as "life space." Life space is a measurement of mobility in the subject’s environment and how much they're seeing that's different from their home.
Researchers followed 1,294 seniors, whom in the beginning, showed no signs of dementia. After an average of 4.4 years, 180 seniors developed Alzheimer's disease. Those who reported they never left their home environment, including their front and back yards, during a given week were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.
Physical activity, intellectual engagement and social stimulation are all important to delaying cognitive decline. So take a trip, whether it’s to the mall or out of town, and keep your mind constantly stimulated.