Self Care Reduces your chance of Developing Dementia
Dementia is a heartbreaking condition that can affect many of us, at any age too. There are however steps we can take now that can help us reduce our risk of developing dementia in later life.
There are currently approximately 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia. This means that one in fourteen people over the age of 65 will develop dementia, and as many as one in six people over the age of 80.
Although it normally affects elderly people, it should be noted that dementia is not a natural part of ageing, and is instead a syndrome, which is associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. This can include; memory loss; thinking speed; mental sharpness and quickness; language; understanding; judgement; mood; movement; and difficulties carrying out their daily activities. More often than not, it will be the people around you that pick up on the symptoms, and might urge you to go and see your doctor, who can make a diagnosis.
Currently, there is no cure for dementia; however an early diagnosis is important, as it can help to slow down the process, allowing you to maintain mental function for longer. Not only that, a firm diagnosis will help people to get the right support and treatment, which then allows them to lead both active, and fulfilled lives.
The symptoms of dementia will become worse with time, which is why people who are in the later stages of dementia will not be able to do as much for themselves, even losing their ability to communicate. Although there is no cure for dementia; there are some things that you can do to help prevent the onset of it, and reduce your chances of developing dementia later on in life.
Here are just some things that you can do to help keep your brain healthy.
Your sleep position:
Believe it or not, the way you sleep can have a big impact on the health of your brain, and some sleeping positions will leave you far more at risk of developing dementia later on in life.
Experts say that you should sleep on your side to help to help lower the risk of developing neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease; which is a form of dementia, and Parkinson’s. The reason for this is that sleeping on your side can actually help to improve one of the brain’s waste-clearing processes.
Make sure that you are getting enough Vitamin D:
Unfortunately, there are many people in the UK, who are deficient in vitamin D, but what you might not realise is how much of an impact this can actually have on your health. In fact, being deficient in this vitamin, increases the risk of developing dementia by a huge 122 percent, according to some studies.
The reason that many people are deficient in this vitamin is down to lack of sun exposure. However you can also up your vitamin D intake, by ensuring that you are eating enough foods that are rich in vitamin D.
Alternatively, you can take a vitamin D supplement. Experts suggest that adults should be taking 10mcg vitamin D supplements every day, especially during the winter months where exposure to the sun is low.
Lead a life that is full of purpose:
One of the best things that you can do is to enjoy your life; live it with purpose and have a sense of direction. Doing something positive can greatly reduce your risk of developing dementia. Experts recommend doing something that not only makes you happy, but something that you are passionate about as well. Research has suggested that there is a rather interesting connection between a person’s sense of purpose and their dementia risk.
The research carried out suggested that the participants who reported the highest scores on the life purpose test were actually 2.4 times less likely to go on to develop Alzheimer’s when compared to the people who gave the lowest scores.
Take a long walk:
Something as simple as going for a lovely stroll could also reduce your chances of developing dementia later on in life as well.
Experts suggest that walking at least three times a week could greatly delay the onset of dementia, or even prevent it altogether. This could be because walking will help to improve your brain function and thinking skills.
You don’t have to break a sweat and do a vigorous walk, but it does appear that there is a connection between doing exercise and dementia, although it should be noted that more research does need to be carried out in this area. It does seem like an easy first step to take in keeping your brain nice and healthy.
Always ensure that you are brushing your teeth:
We all know that we should be brushing our teeth morning and night; however, too many people are unaware of the damage that it can do to your health.
Good oral care, and looking after your teeth and gums will also go a long way to help to protect your brain.
Research has shown that people who brush their teeth less than once a day are up to a whopping 65 percent more likely to develop dementia compared with those who brush their teeth twice a day. This is because the bacteria that is associated with gum disease and actually instigate an inflammatory process that can actually cause damage to the brain.