“You have dementia.” The dreaded words we hope to never hear from our doctors or
our loved ones’ doctors.
Although all types of dementia are not preventable, there are several factors leading to
early onset dementia can be addressed. You can watch for and even change these 5
high risk factors by changing certain habits in your day-to- day life.
A healthy diet can play a large part in any disease or illness. Keeping a hearty diet full of
protein, high fibre and healthy fats is crucial to your health. High fat diets that include
lots of salt, sugar and saturated fats can cause high blood pressure. High blood
pressure can increase the likelihood of developing vascular dementia. This is because
of the effect it has on blood circulation, arteries and your heart.
A small amount of physical activity or none at all can cause a number of issues,
including obesity and heart disease. Both obesity and heart disease are connected to
having a higher risk of dementia. It is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of
light exercise a week. Daily tasks including walking your dog, cleaning the house and
getting the newspaper can be considered ‘light exercise’.
High Alcohol Intake / Smoking
High alcohol intake is a leading risk factor for multiple diseases. There are strong
studies that show heart disease, cancers, strokes and nerve system damage can be
caused by heavy drinking; all of which can increase your chances of developing
dementia. By lower you weekly intake of alcohol to less than 8 drinks per week, you can
lower your risk of dementia and other diseases.
Lack of Cognitive Engagement
“Use it or lose it” is a term we’ve all heard often growing up. People who are more
consistent with actively using their brains are known to be less susceptible to cell
damage caused by dementia. Puzzles, reading and simple math problems are all great
ways to actively use your brain.
People who have had repetitive or severe brain injuries are most likely to develop
dementia later in life. This is commonly seen in professional athletes including boxers,
football players and hockey players. These athletes are hit multiple times throughout
their careers causing repeated damage to their brains. It is also common to see this in
fall accidents. While any fall can cause injury, people over 60 are more vulnerable to
acquiring a brain injury from a fall. Typical types of debilitating falls include falling in the
shower, slipping on tiles, hardwood floors and carpet runners and falling on dangerous
ice that can accumulate around the outside of your house. Installing hand bars and
railings in the shower and other slippery areas can go a long way to preventing a fall.
Also, ensuring that carpets, rugs and runners are properly secured to the underlying
floor is important. Finally, getting help to clear away or prevent the formation of ice, can
lower the risk of an at-home fall and possible brain injury.
Dementia has multiple different risk factors and causes. Some of which we can try and
avoid and some that are completely out of our control. Having the opportunity to get a
head start on the possibility of preventing dementia can help many people lower their
risk of developing dementia.
At ActivePro Nursing Homecare Inc. we have experienced caregivers and home
nurses who are willing and able to provide you with the best and most specialized care,
adapted to your needs, in the Toronto and Niagara regions. You and your loved ones
can count on us! Active Pro: The well-being of our older adults is our top priority!