Ten Ways to Protect Your Brain Health to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Buda Oaks provides assisted living and memory care services to seniors in Buda, TX, just outside Austin. Our community offers a transitional step for those who experience Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia following the need for assisted living.

Over six million Americans over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s. It’s not easy to diagnose, and most warning signs go unnoticed until middle-stage Alzheimer’s. It’s hard to say how long people live with a form of dementia until it is too late.

While there is currently no definable cure, modern medicine advances every day, giving us insight into ways to keep the brain strong and better at defending memory loss.

*This article should not replace medical advice. Talk with your doctor regarding any issues you may experience, especially if you suspect memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s.

Treat Yourself Right

“Your body is a temple,” says the olds adage. One of the first practices to extend your brain health is about what you put into your body.

1. Quit Smoking

We tend to think of tobacco use as a vice that damages the heart and lungs, but it also directly affects the brain. One study discovered smokers were 30 percent more likely to develop a form of dementia.

The power of nicotine adversely affects dopamine levels, which can lead to anxiety and depression. Low levels of dopamine could significantly increase your chances of Alzheimer’s, says recent research.

2. Mindful Eating

You’re probably aware that foods like leafy greens, salmon, and nuts are brain-healthy foods. We tend to think of junk foods as bad for the waistline, but they’re also bad for the mind. Avoid or limit the intake of:

  • Red meat– Limit saturated fats. Consider beans, lean poultry, and cold-water fish for protein.
  • Trans fats– These fats, high in elaidic acid, increased the risk of dementia by 50-70 percent.
  • Fried foods– Some forms of dementia are vascular-related. The inflammation the body experiences when eating fried foods can damage blood vessels that supply the brain.
  • White bread– Intake of refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, releasing toxins in the brain.
  • Excess of alcohol– A single beer or glass of wine is fine, but brain damage risk increases beyond that.
  • Soda, sugary drinks, and artificial sweeteners– High fructose levels may shrink certain sections of the brain. Diet soda drinkers were three times more likely to experience a stroke or dementia.
  • Processed meats and cheeses– American cheese and bacon on a burger is pure heaven to taste but can also contain harmful proteins and toxins for the brain.

3. Keep the Rhythm

Cutting out nicotine products and eating well will have tremendous benefits to your heart. As a result of reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases caused by high blood pressure and diabetes, your brain will thank you.

Gear Up and Maintain

4. Protect Yourself

Wear a helmet if you participate in any type of physical activity, like riding a bike, skiing, skating, or anything else that involves a fall risk.

Wear your seatbelt in the car and prevent your risk of falling whenever possible. Over the last 30 years, we’ve learned about the effects of traumatic brain injuries, especially in their contributions to forms of memory loss.

5. Good Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep, especially in your mid-life, is a great way to build memory-making patterns. Sleep is also an excellent time for your brain to flush out toxins that contribute to Alzheimer’s.

6. Keep It Moving

Bodies in motion, stay in motion. Breaking a sweat and getting the heart rate up about 150 minutes a week decreases your chance of losing mental function and developing Alzheimer’s. If 150 minutes sounds like a lot, break it into three sets of ten-minute activities, five days a week.

Brains In Motion, Stay In Motion

Just like the body, working out the mind is a good defense against memory loss.

Buda Oaks | Senior playing guitar for his daughter and granddaughter
Blue Planet Studios – stock.adobe.com

7. Learning Is For Life

A study challenged people between the ages of 60-90 with the task of learning new things. The results showed that the people who accomplished a combination of new skills experienced higher levels of memory function.

8. A Little Tease Never Hurts

That’s right, tease your mind regularly. These are, of course, fun activities to do. Winning games like bingo and poker are not only a bonus for your pocket; they’re exercises in strategic thinking. Painting, woodworking, and puzzles all contribute to enjoyable ways to challenge the mind.

9. Keep Up On The Gossip

Maintaining social relationships is imperative to experience a higher quality of life. Senior isolation and loneliness are considered as detrimental to health as smoking, obesity, and inactivity. It also raises the risk for dementia by 50 percent.

Regular interactions with friends and family are a great place to start, but consider volunteering with a cause close to your heart or joining meet-up groups for hobbies you enjoy.

10. You Are Not Alone

Thankfully, we’ve seen a decline in the stigma surrounding the discussion of mental health. Depression, anxiety, and stress are all linked to higher chances for dementia. Forty percent of people living with Alzheimer’s also experience depression.

If you are experiencing problems with your mental health, reach out to resources near you.

*Bonus Tip

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston recently discovered a simple way of killing two birds with one stone. Don’t forget your flu shot this year; it might reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by 17 percent.

Does senior living at Buda Oaks provide ways of protecting brain health?

Absolutely.

We promote active assisted living and engaging memory care. Both programs lend a helping hand with activities of daily living while removing the burdens of household chores from your life.

Our culinary team provides three nutritious meals every day and occasional treats. To keep you mingling with your neighbors and in shape, we provide a calendar of daily social, physical, and mentally stimulating activities.

Families trust our calm and secure memory care neighborhood, The Retreat at Buda Oaks, to provide an environment that inspires and honors loved ones experiencing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Our specialized programming in memory care focuses on impeding the memory loss process by using a holistic approach.

 

Discover How Assisted Living in Buda, TX, Can Benefit Your Life

Contact Buda Oaks for more information on assisted living and memory care. We would be happy to arrange a tour of our community, just for you.

Please note that Buda Oaks and its management company, JCI Senior Housing, use cookies as outlined in our Privacy Policy, where you can individually opt out of this practice. By continuing to browse Buda Oaks’ website, you agree to its use of cookies.

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