Have you ever worried about having Alzheimer’s or dementia?
Todays post talks about the 6 healthy habits that can help prevent Alzeimer’s and dementia.
Firstly if you or someone you know is suffering from one of these terrible diseases you (or they) have done nothing wrong. Despite the fact that this post talks about the 6 healthy habits that can help prevent Alzheimer’s not doing these things does not mean you will get Alzheimer’s.
Age is the number one risk factor associated with Alzheimer’s, dementia and many other diseases and genetics play a huge role also.
In this edition of life on the far side of fifty I will talk about some of the statistics regarding Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as signs and symptoms of these diseases. Most importantly we will look the tactics and strategies we can use to protect ourselves and our loved ones from these afflictions.
First a few declarations;
- In this post I am going to talk about Alzheimer’s and dementia and I will use the terms more or less interchangeably. Research shows that there are many cognitive disorders that have roughly the same symptoms and causes. Therefore many of the tactics for avoidance are also similar.
- I don’t claim to be a doctor or medical professional. I do however; have considerable experience in the health, wellness and life optimization field so I do have some background to draw upon.
- If you are seriously concerned about any aspect of your health please visit a doctor.
The statistics about Alzheimer’s sobering; to date there are nearly 44 million people who are afflicted with the disease and only about 1 in 4 people with the disease are diagnosed. Right now the global cost is about $604 billion and this number will rise dramatically over the next ten years. For more information about statistics check out Alzheimer’s.net .
The great news is that this terrible disease is often manageable and might even be preventable to some extent. As always the focus of this blog is on the prevention of disease, which, on every level, is preferable to treatment.
Have you ever worried that you have some form of dementia?
In my experience there are very few people over the age of fifty who don’t, at least on occasion, wonder if they are coming down with some form of cognitive disorder. We all forget things and misplace things but as we get older we tend to be more concerned if our forgetfulness is a harbinger of disease.
A great friend of mine often talks about his forgetfulness and wonders when he will get to the point of hiding his own Easter eggs or wrapping his own Christmas presents.
The good news is that a certain degree of forgetfulness is perfectly normal and is often caused by our habit of doing one thing while thinking about another. At one time or another most of us have set down our keys or some other object and within a few minutes have no recollection of where we left them. It is also normal to forget a name, or struggle to find a word. The occasional big miss is normal as well. A number of years ago a relative called me in a panic explaining that her car had gone missing from the mall. After a few minutes of talking she calmed down and remembered that she was looking for her car at the wrong entrance to the mall. To this day her mind is as sharp as it ever was (but that may not be saying much).
By and large I would suggest that you will know when you or someone you know has a problem. Another person that I know used to keep empty pet food cans in her drawers and her car full of clothes. Over a decade later she was diagnosed with dementia abut despite her outlandish behaviour the doctors (who she saw regularly) failed to diagnose her illness.
If you want more information around what is normal forgetfulness and what you need to worry about check out this link, but be warned the signs are symptoms are not black and white so my original advice still stands, look around, if your forgetfulness is roughly the same as anyone else’s then don’t worry, Not remembering where you left you car may not be a concern, standing in your kitchen wondering how to find your bedroom is worrisome. Forgetting the name of an aquaintance is not a big deal, forgetting your own name should mean a trip to the doctor.
The great news is that we can actually do quite a lot to protect ourselves from Alzheimer’s. These are the very same things that will help prevent a myriad of other concerns such as high blood pressure, stroke, depression, cancer, arthritis and obesity. In fact new research is even proving that there is a direct link between heart health and brain health. Anything you do to increase you heart health is also good for your brain health.
According to helpguide.org there are 6 pillars of Alzheimer’s prevention, which match up perfectly with the habits and activities that I talk about in my seminars and coaching sessions.
The 6 healthy habits include;
and social connectedness.
If you know what you need to do and just don’t know how to do it, send me an email. Physical health is a major component of my “Growth Zone” coaching program and i know first hand about the challenges and concerns faced by the over fifty crowd. We can have a no obligation conversation about how you can improve the quality of every aspect of your life.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment below this blog post or sign up to have Life on the far side of Fifty delivered to your inbox.
Written by Joe Grainger; traveller, social entrepreneur, life coach and author.