Dementia is more common among seniors than other age groups. There is currently no cure for dementia, but there are steps aging adults can take to lower their chances of developing it earlier than the average senior. Here are some of the common causes of early-onset dementia and tips to help your elderly loved one prevent each cause.
Cerebrovascular disease could increase your loved one’s risk of developing vascular dementia. The most common presentation of cerebrovascular disease is a stroke. When the stroke kills a senior’s brain cells, the odds of developing vascular dementia may increase. To prevent heart disease and strokes, seniors should follow a healthy diet that lowers their cholesterol and blood pressure levels. A good diet includes lean meats, leafy green vegetables, fruits, olive oil, low-sodium meals, and gluten-free foods. Eating healthy and making other lifestyle changes can increase circulation and lower the risk of strokes.
Encouraging your loved one to switch to a healthy diet may present a few challenges. In New Hampshire, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Head Injuries
When seniors fall and bump their heads, their risk of developing post-traumatic dementia may increase. To keep the bones strong and to prevent falls or other balance issues that could lead to head injuries, your loved one should exercise regularly. A good exercise routine for seniors includes leg and arm workouts, in addition to breathing techniques. Make sure your loved one works out three or four days each week, for at least 30 minutes each day.
If your loved one requires help maintaining a regular exercise routine or assistance with general mobility, consider hiring a professional caregiver. A New Hampshire caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns.
3. Brain Tumors
Brain tumors can interfere with cognitive functioning and trigger many symptoms associated with dementia, such as personality changes, headaches, and confusion. Aging puts seniors at a higher risk of developing brain tumors, but there are some things they can do to lower the odds, such as reducing exposure to radiation. To prevent your loved one from being exposed to ionizing radiation, help him or her stay healthy and cancer-free. Neck, breast, prostate, and cervical cancers are the most common health conditions treated with radiation therapy. To prevent cancer and stave off dementia, seniors should increase their cardio workouts, consume foods high in antioxidants, limit sun exposure, and stop drinking alcoholic beverages.
Depression can cause memory issues such as forgetfulness and confusion, and chronic depression can increase the odds of developing dementia. However, depression is considered a reversible factor, meaning seniors can reverse the effects if they treat the issue. Help your loved one prevent chronic stress and anxiety, which could lead to depression. Keeping your loved one active in the community or encouraging him or her to participate in social activities and family gatherings could reduce the risk of isolation, which is a major cause of depression. As a result, he or she can stave off dementia and other cognitive issues.
5. Vitamin Deficiencies
Seniors who have a severe vitamin deficiency, especially a B12 deficiency, are at a higher risk of developing symptoms associated with dementia. Depression, mood disorders, shakiness, and poor memory are some of the many issues vitamin deficiencies can cause. Help your loved one prevent dementia by ensuring he or she gets plenty of vitamins and other important nutrients. Your loved one can eat foods that contain vitamins and take supplements if approved by a doctor.
Dementia is one of the many health conditions older adults are susceptible to. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The New Hampshire live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs professional in-home care, call us at (603) 471-3004 today.