Losing your memories and even the capability to think properly is exceptionally frightening. Getting Alzheimer’s is usually seen as part and parcel of growing old — but you can stave off or even prevent the condition through several measures.
- Don’t Lose Sight of the Present
- Don’t Stop Thinking
- Live Healthier
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Don’t Lose Sight of the Present
Take it literally: Don’t lose your eyesight. The majority of stimuli and information your brain receives is visual. Your interactions with the world and the people around you will be severely affected by vision loss, not to mention your independence and safety. Seniors often associate vision loss with aging. However, most forms of vision loss are preventable and reversible. The most common type of vision loss among seniors is caused by refraction errors, which can easily be solved by prescription glasses or laser eye surgery. Even cataracts can be removed with close to 100 percent success rates. The only thing to watch out for is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). So far, there is no treatment for AMD. However, specific measures can delay its onset. AMD is exacerbated by smoking, sunlight (UV), and a sedentary lifestyle, so stop smoking, wear shades, and get a bit of exercise.
Don’t Stop Thinking
The adage, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” is particularly apt when it comes to aging. This applies to both physical and mental abilities. Keep your mind sharp with social interactions, interesting hobbies, or just filling in crossword puzzles. Learn a skill, language, or craft. Brush up on the ones you learned earlier in life. It’s never too late to learn how to play the piano, draw landscapes like Bob Ross, or go out ballroom dancing. Your brain stays sharper with more stimuli, so don’t just stay at home all day. Watch movies, eat out, and join group activities that will have you talking with different people. Debate about politics and tell the young ‘uns how much harder it was in the old days. Don’t stop talking and don’t stop thinking.
Lower oxygen levels in your body can lead to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. Quit smoking. It decreases your body’s oxygen levels, and your brain cells need a lot of oxygen. Eat a lot of poultry, fish, and red meat. Don’t cut your protein, just the carbs. Add some nuts, green leafy vegetables, and berries to make your diet a little bit healthier. A glass of wine a day is fine — even encouraged — as long as you stick to one and don’t go on binge drinking. A healthy heart means a healthy flow of oxygen, so try to maintain a healthy weight or even shed a few pounds. Get a bit of exercise, whether it’s just a bit of gardening or walking a couple of blocks. Getting your heart pumping makes it easier for it to supply oxygen to your brain.
Alzheimer’s is not inevitable. Live a healthy life, keep your vision clear, and keep your brain busy by continually interacting with the world and the people around you.