While these preventative steps can help anyone reduce their risk of dementia, today we’re specifically sharing this information with caregivers of elderly mothers, aunts, and grandmothers.
Dementia affects 1 out of 5 elderly women, and only 1 out of 10 elderly men, making the likelihood of your elderly female parent getting dementia more likely. Dementia is a set of symptoms related to a decline in memory, thinking, and social abilities to the extent that it interferes with your parent’s ability to function daily. It is not a disease in and of itself. But its symptoms can be devastating to both the parent and the caregiver.
Hereditary as well as the fact that women often live longer than men are two factors in increasing a woman’s chance of developing dementia. But there are steps now your parent and you can take to help lessen the chance that your elderly mother, grandmother, and aunts will not have dementia in their later years.
1. Keep stimulating the brain. Whether it’s through puzzles with the senior care provider when she visits, or it’s out exploring the world around her, help your elderly parent keep her brain stimulated to protect her brain health.
2. Keep exercising regularly. Aerobic exercise (or cardio workouts) is a great way to keep blood flowing, reduce inflammation and stimulate growth factors in the brain. Schedule regular walks or other physical activities with your parent to keep her brain sharp. Your senior care provider can help by accompanying your parent on walks or by driving her to favorite places to visit and exercise at.
3. Keep being socially active. It can be hard to be socially active in the recent year with all the restrictions around social distancing and safe protocol with the pandemic, but don’t let your parent give up on this important aspect of her brain health. Help her find new ways to be socially active through online video chats or having a senior care provider come for regular visits.
4. Keep eating well. Diet is important to good brain health. What’s good for the heart is also good for the brain. If you’re looking for an easy way to start, have your parent try a Mediterranean-style diet full of white meat, fish, vegetables, and whole-grain rice and breads.
5. Keep sleeping well. Sleep is the time of each day when the body works on repairs as well as provides it the time needed to rest from the stress and worries of the day.
6. Keep other health conditions under control. Some other conditions such as diabetes or hypertension can have a direct effect on the brain because of the way the vascular system is damaged from the disease. If your parent already has one of these conditions, help her stay on track with treatments and follow-up with her caregivers.
7. Keep wearing a helmet. If your parent is physically active and either skiing, riding a bike, or horseback riding, she should always wear a helmet to protect her brain. Traumatic brain injuries increase the risk of dementia forming in older adults.
More gender-based research is needed to help reduce the number of women who develop dementia, but in the meantime, some simple steps at home may protect your family.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Grass Valley, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423