Most forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, are irreversible. While these progressive conditions may not yet have a cure, seniors may be able to slow the progression of the disease. Ahead, discover five effective ways to prevent dementia from progressing.
1. Consume B Vitamins
To maintain cognitive health, seniors with dementia need plenty of brain-boosting vitamins. Vitamin B is essential, as it’s responsible for promoting cell metabolism and overall cellular health. Because of its important role in key cellular processes, vitamin B can protect the brain from dementia-related deterioration. To get their daily dose of vitamin B, seniors with dementia can take supplements or turn to vitamin B–rich food sources, such as poultry, beans, leafy greens, eggs, and dairy.
Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions may find it difficult to prepare meals on their own, which can result in not getting proper nutrition. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care Philadelphia, PA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Engage in Physical Exercise
The brain isn’t immune to the health benefits of physical exercise. When seniors raise their heart rate via physical activity, it increases the flow of blood throughout the body. This process sends oxygen to the brain, which optimizes cognitive performance. Seniors who haven’t exercised in a while don’t have to embark on intense cardio regimens. Moderate exercise performed three or four times a week is often enough to boost brain health. If seniors establish a consistent exercise routine, they may be able to slow the progression of dementia.
3. Stay Socially Connected
Many seniors with dementia become isolated as their condition progresses. While this may be a natural consequence of their circumstances, you should be mindful of your loved one’s social calendar. If your loved one’s social circle becomes too small or he or she seems lonely, find or plan social events he or she can participate in. Your loved one might enjoy parties at the local retirement center, scheduled Skype calls with an old friend, religious services, or family gatherings. Diverse socialization is an essential component of cognitive maintenance. Unique social interactions force the brain to create new connections and forge new pathways. Without frequent socializing, the brain doesn’t get the chance to make these connections, leaving it at greater risk of deterioration.
4. Play Brain Games
Spending time with friends isn’t the only way seniors can strengthen neural connectivity. Brain games are like a workout for the mind, bulking up the grey matter and slowing the rate of atrophy. There are plenty of mental workouts to choose from, ranging from crossword puzzles to Sudoku games. Seniors should search for a mental exercise they enjoy, as enjoyable activities are more likely to become regular habits. Reading unfamiliar materials, learning a new skill, and playing an instrument can also boost brain health.
A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Philadelphia families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
While sleeping, the brain performs essential tasks. Cerebrospinal fluid courses through the brain during slumber, and it washes away the waste proteins that get lodged between brain cells throughout the day. This cleaning process is integral to brain health. Seniors who want to slow the progress of dementia should strive to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Sleep-deprived seniors should try adopting healthy sleep hygiene habits, such as sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, turning off all screens an hour before bedtime, and sleeping in a quiet, dark environment.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Philadelphia seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663.