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Major Risk Factors for Dementia in Older Adults

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Dementia is a chronic disorder that impacts cognitive function, emotional stability, and physical health. Researchers still have quite a bit to learn about dementia, but some neurological experts believe that around 35 percent of all cases are completely preventable. Here is a look at some of the top risk factors for dementia. 

Age

Age is one of the biggest risk factors for dementia, and there is nothing that can be done about it. However, seniors can increase their mental abilities and reduce their risk of dementia at any age. Getting a little extra sleep every night, reducing stress levels, and exercising a few times a week can have a major impact on cognitive health. Adults over the age of 65 should also be tested for dementia at least once a year to detect any early warning signs.

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia home care. Cleveland families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Genes

When it comes to chronic disorders such as dementia, there are two types of genes to consider. Deterministic genes directly cause certain health conditions, and seniors who have these genes should start exploring their treatment options before any symptoms develop. A risk gene increases the likelihood of developing a specific health condition, but it doesn’t directly cause any disorder or ailment. Seniors who have a family history of dementia should be screened for both deterministic and risk genes.

Head Injuries

Doctors now know there is a strong connection between head injuries and dementia. Even relatively minor concussions can drastically increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related disorders. Seniors who have issues with strength or balance should speak with a doctor about using a mobility device like a walker or wheelchair. Installing grab bars or handrails around toilets, steps, and bathtubs is a good way to increase safety around the home. 

Cardiovascular Conditions

Almost every medical condition that impacts cardiovascular health also increases the risk of dementia, including high blood pressure, heart murmurs, heart arrhythmias, diabetes, and high cholesterol. One of the most effective ways to boost heart health is to stick to a healthy diet filled with fresh vegetables, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein. Seniors also need to avoid foods that contain refined sweeteners and simple carbohydrates. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Cleveland, OH, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Smoking

In addition to increasing the risk of cancer, tobacco products also damage the cardiovascular system. Chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes can restrict the blood vessels, making it difficult for the heart to pump fresh blood to the brain. If your loved one isn’t able to quit smoking, speak with his or her doctor about professional treatment options such as behavioral therapy, counseling, support groups, and nicotine replacement therapy. Multifaceted treatments that address the mental addiction as well as the physical dependence tend to be the most effective.

Seniors can lower their risk of dementia by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance Cleveland to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging loved one, give us a call at (440) 332-0170 today.

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