September Is World Alzheimer’s Month
Alzheimer’s disease is a fatal disease that destroys brain cells. It is irreversible and eventually affects every aspect of a person’s life.
Although each person is affected differently, the following will be affected as the disease progresses:
- Cognitive and functional abilities
- Emotions and moods
- Physical abilities
Signs to look for include the following:
- memory loss
- misplacing things
- problems with language
- difficulty performing tasks
- impaired judgment
- mood, behaviour and personality changes
While some risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease – such as age, gender and family history – are not modifiable, there are several key risk factors that are modifiable. This means that there are things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Help reduce your risk by:
Reducing stress – make changes in your life to reduce stress, and find ways to help you cope with stress, such as meditation, yoga or relaxing in a hot bath.
Avoiding isolation – staying connected socially and interacting with others regularly helps prevent depression, which is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Staying cognitively active – continue to challenge your brain by playing games, solving puzzles, learning a new language or simply trying something new.
Protecting your head – avoid head injuries by wearing a helmet when participating in activities such as cycling, rollerblading, motorcycling and snowmobiling.
Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Following a healthy lifestyle (by eating healthy and being physically active) to help maintain a healthy weight, and manage your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- Healthy eating – eat a well-balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, fish, beans and legumes and whole grains. Choose lean meats and lower fat dairy products.
- Physical activity – participate in your favorite activities (e.g., walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, playing sports) to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week.