September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and according to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with the disease. And while researchers continue to work to identify new treatment options, a recent study from the National Institute on Aging has shown that living a healthy lifestyle has a significant effect on reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
In the study, the researchers tracked lifestyle habits to determine how these might impact long-term health. The study identified five healthy lifestyle habits and asked participants to track how many of these healthy habits they maintained. Of the more than 3,000 participants involved in the study, researchers found that those who maintained at least four out of five healthy recommendations were found to have a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s. For participants who maintained even just two or three of the recommendations, the risk of Alzheimer’s was 37% lower.
The five healthy lifestyle modifications that are recommended by the National Institute on Aging study to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s are:
- Weekly physical activity. Moderate to vigorous physical activity of at least 150 minutes per week. This equates to approximately 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week. This can also be broken up into smaller chunks each day and still provide long-lasting health benefits.
- Not smoking, or stopping smoking. Research has shown that even people aged 60 or over who have been smoking for decades can benefit from stopping smoking. Quitting smoking also reduces the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke and lung disease.
- Light to moderate alcohol consumption. In addition to making health issues such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and high blood pressure worse, excessive alcohol consumption can put older adults at greater risk for falls and fractures.
- Healthy diet. Researchers recommend the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet which focuses on plant-based foods linked to preventing dementia. This dietary approach combines the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
- Keep the brain active. From meaningful volunteer activities to learning new skills, activities that keep the brain active not only improve overall quality of life, but also cognition.
At Jewish Family Home Care, our experienced care staff is here to help seniors in Tamarac, FL and nearby areas, maintain a healthy and engaged lifestyle. With customized care plans designed to fit each client’s specific needs, we offer:
- Engaging conversation and friendly companionship
- Encouragement to participate in physician approved exercise
- Planning and preparing nutritious meals and snacks
- Assistance with personal care needs such as bathing, getting dressed and using the bathroom
- Help with light housekeeping, laundry and linen changes
- Transportation to medical appointments
- And much more
Jewish Family Home Care is here for you and your aging loved ones with customized care plans that incorporate the healthy lifestyle habits that are known to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.