If you’re a caregiver who helps with an aging loved one suffering dementia or Alzheimer’s you understand it is a never-ending duty of love that you provide. During the month of November, awareness is raised through the National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
For those of you who aren’t involved in the daily care of a parent or loved one suffering dementia, here are some statistics you may not have been aware of. There are more than 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in the United States alone. Other stats include:
- There are 47 million individuals worldwide who live with dementia.
- It costs more than $600 billion per year to care for dementia patients.
- By 2030 it is estimated that the number of people living with dementia worldwide will be more than 75 million.
There are steps you can take to power up your brain and potentially ward off dementia and they include:
- If you break a sweat and elevate your heart rate you can increase blood flow to the brain and that could lessen the risk of cognitive decline. Obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes all negatively impact your health and this could impact your brain health as well.
- Engage your mind in activities such as reading or doing crossword puzzles. Take an adult education class. Work with your hands doing a craft.
- Stop smoking. Studies show that smoking can increase your risk of having a cognitive decline as you age.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low in processed foods and fats will help with overall health and may help with brain health.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep and suffering from insomnia can lead to problems with your memory during your waking hours.
- Stay engaged and social. Don’t isolate yourself because that could lead to your sinking into depression. Join a Senior Center, take a class, get out for a walk in the neighborhood with a friend.
If you’re a caregiver with a parent or loved one suffering dementia, consider equipping the home with a personal medical alert device. This device provides peace of mind for those times when you aren’t in close proximity. They can wear their personal medical device at all times – even in the shower – and can summon assistance at the push of a button.