June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and an opportunity to join the fight against this fatal disease and other dementias.
Worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life and is caused by damage to brain cells. Although most people associate dementia with memory loss, the condition affects people in a variety of ways. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, visual perception, reasoning and judgment and communication and language can also be impaired.
Dementia is not a normal part of aging, but age is the biggest risk factor. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Risk factors, such as high blood pressure and lack of exercise, usually can be changed to help reduce risk. Scientific research in these areas may lead to new ways to detect those at highest risk.
Regular physical exercise may be a beneficial strategy to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Good exercise choices including walking briskly, dancing, swimming, cycling and even gardening.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, evidence suggests exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
Studies indicate that maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Active retirement communities like Heritage Woods of Yorkville offer many amenities that aid in the prevention of dementia.
Fun activities, laughter and being active help engage the brain and grow new brain cells, which ultimately helps prevent dementia. Proper nutrition is also important to keep the body strong and healthy. For a person with dementia, poor nutrition may increase behavioral symptoms and cause weight loss.
Heritage Woods of Yorkville, an Assisted Lifestyle Community for the Older Adult, 242 Greenbriar Road, Yorkville, IL 60560, 630-882-6502, www.gardant.com/heritagewoodsyorkville