Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia which primarily affects the parts of the brain that control memory, resulting in progressive and permanent neurological damage. According to the CDC, the disease currently affects more than 5 million Americans today. While research continues to bring us closer to effective Alzheimer’s treatments, there are additional steps that those affected, their families and caregivers can take to help fight this condition now.
- Physical exercise: Engaging in a healthy amount of physical activity has significant health benefits for the brain, as well as the heart, vascular system and body’s physical strength. Studies have shown that exercise can stimulate the brain’s ability to maintain older neural networks and stimulate new connections. It’s recommended that people over 65 years of age do 40 minutes a day of aerobic or non-aerobic exercise to experience the full physical and mental benefits.
- Mental exercise: A healthy body is important, but so is an active mind. Just like a muscle, the brain needs to be regularly challenged in order to maintain a healthy level of cognitive function. Stimulation is also vital to maintaining cognitive pathways and building new connections. Some of the best forms of mental stimulation include reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing games, social interaction and social activities such as going to museums or community events.
- Diet: Research has shown that certain foods can help keep the brain healthy, while others can be harmful to cognitive health. A diet rich in lots of fruit, fish oil, legumes, vegetables (especially broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables) and whole grains is recommended. Foods such as saturated fats and refined carbohydrates (like white sugar) should be avoided, as studies indicate these foods may assist cognitive decline, especially in the areas of the brain focused on learning and memory.
- Early diagnosis: Knowing the signs of early onset Alzheimer’s is key to working on mental and physical health. As well as having access to professional and medical assistance will help ensure your loved one is kept comfortable, healthy and independent for as long as possible. An early diagnosis will allow caregivers to start implementing the best measures available.
Memory care and support services at Lester Senior Living
Housed in our assisted living wing, the memory care suites at Lester are specially designed to support individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. By focusing on customized care plans and activities within our comfortable, apartment-style communities, we maximize your loved one’s dignity, safety and quality of life.
To find out more about our memory care services for Alzheimer’s residents in NJ, contact Lester Senior Living today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/