Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is coming to a close, but before it ends I have to tell you some of the things I have learned about this horrible disease. As a caregiver to my stepfather who has Lewy Body Dementia (check out this blog post), I want to find out if there is anything I can do to prevent Dementia from happening to you and me.
There is really not any clear-cut answer if Dementia can be prevented. In my research, there is a likelihood that it may be prevented by our diet and exercise along with social connections and intellectual activities.
I have found an article that promotes the Ketogenic Diet to slow or reverse signs of Dementia. I am a big fan of the Keto Diet, as I shared my experience in this blog post. I am hoping that having this diet as a lifestyle choice may help in preventing Dementia for me. However, as a caregiver for my step-father, it is hard for me to think at this stage I am going to take one of his few pleasures, chocolate chip cookies, away from him to maybe slow down or reverse his Dementia.
Exercise has always been a big part of my life and I do believe that it can help in so many ways and if it can help with preventing Dementia, even better. In Yoga Teacher Training, I have learned there may be benefits of yoga and meditation for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. Yoga and meditation may even prevent or improve the symptoms. Read this article here for more information.
Social connections are so important to us, not only to prevent Dementia, but to improve our overall wellbeing. As stated in this article, loneliness increases a person’s premature death by 14%. It is important to have family, friends and feel like you belong somewhere. We must constantly work at our friendships, as I have talked about in my post here and here.
The last area is intellectual activities. This can be a variety of different games or puzzles. One of my favorites is Lumosity. I have the free version downloaded on my phone so I can play it anywhere and it only takes a few minutes. Some of the best games involve socializing like chess, bridge, and scrabble.
As we approach Christmas, think about how you can incorporate all of these activities together with the ones you love. Invite your friends and family over, fix a healthy meal, go for a walk, then get the scrabble game out. Maybe this can be a new tradition for you and your family and friends.
Read my post here about Making New Traditions Without Losing All Of The Old Traditions.