Alzheimer’s disease has already intruded on the lives of more than 5 million families worldwide, and the number of people diagnosed is expected to rise. At Home Care Assistance, we believe in taking proactive measures to brain health based on extensive scientific research that suggests non-pharmacological lifestyle changes, habits and practices may prevent the onset of cognitive decline.
Below we share five lifestyle habits that have been found to help promote long-term brain health!
- Remain employed as long as possible. Research recently found that people who work in complicated professions may be able to withstand decline more than others. This may be because their jobs are cognitively engaging, which strengthens the brain’s cognitive reserve. In addition, people who are employed in companies with larger social networks may retain better cognitive abilities, since social engagement boosts mental health.
- Implement healthy eating practices. One of the most important things you can do every day to maintain good health is to eat well. We recommend the Mediterranean diet for keeping both the brain and body healthy. The diet includes: fresh fruits and vegetables (fruits & veggies post link), particularly cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens, healthy fats found in nuts, seeds, salmon or olive oil, whole grains and healthy beans or legumes.
- Create your personal health strategy. One-third of our healthy longevity is due to genetics, and two-thirds on lifestyle factors within our control. Create a personal health plan (link to personal strategy post) based on your ideal diet, appropriate amounts of exercise and healthy sleep, a hygiene routine and other brain-healthy habits to be proactive about healthy longevity and long-term brain health.
- Move as much as possible. A study from the University of California in Los Angeles found that exercise may reverse the harmful effects that poor-eating can cause to the brain. Even if you or a loved one is already living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, exercise can still provide mental and emotional benefits. A physical exercise program with minimal exertion can help the body by promoting oxygen-rich blood flow.
- Minimize over-the-counter medications. A number of popular drugs available may lower the brain’s ability to metabolize glucose properly, which can lead to memory loss. Common forms of these medicines are used for gastrointestinal disorders, asthma and other respiratory concerns, insomnia, and more. Consult your primary physician on ways to minimize medication intake.
By eating foods that are rich in nutrients, getting healthy amounts of exercise and sleep, maintaining a mentally-stimulating and socially enriched lifestyle, and avoiding hazardous habits and toxins, it is possible for us to promote long-term brain health for more independent, healthy lives.
Caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available for daily and hourly care to help support your healthy lifestyle and care for your loved one’s needs. Home Care Assistance offers different levels of expert care and embraces the belief that aging adults can age in place and remain independent longer, giving you and your family peace of mind. Contact one of our local Client Care Managers at 1-866-454-4846 to see how our caregivers can help your loved one thrive.