Approximately 5.7 million seniors currently have Alzheimer’s disease. Two-thirds of these individuals are female. Though researchers aren’t sure why women are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease than men, early research indicates both genetics and estrogen play a role in the disease. Because of the increased risk, senior women should take precautions to stave off the disease. Encourage your senior loved one to try the following tips to keep her brain healthy in the later years.
Try the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet, which involves eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, nuts, and healthy oils, is known to help people manage their weight and reduce their risk of heart disease. Recent research shows it may be beneficial for the brain as well. A study done by researchers at the University of Edinburgh found seniors who followed the Mediterranean diet experienced less brain shrinkage than those who didn’t follow the diet. Brain shrinkage has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Making healthy lifestyle choices is one of the best ways to stave off Alzheimer’s disease. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Centennial home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Drink More Tea
Having a warm cup of tea can help women reduce their Alzheimer’s risk. A March 2017 study showed senior women who drank one cup of tea per day reduced their risk of cognitive decline by 50 percent. Women who were genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s reduced their risk by 86 percent. Researchers believe bioactive compounds are released from the tea leaves when they are brewed, which reduces inflammation in the brain.
Exercising is good for the entire body, including the brain. Encourage your loved one to exercise to lower her LDL cholesterol levels, which can reduce plaque in the brain that causes Alzheimer’s disease. Dancing seems to be an especially helpful way to get moving. A 2017 study done by researchers at the University of Illinois found senior women who learned how to dance were able to slow the degeneration of the white matter in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Check with the local senior center or nearby dance studios for dates and times of upcoming dance classes for seniors.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation
Though heavy drinking has been linked to dementia, having one glass of red wine every day has been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease in women. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that moderate drinking can boost cognitive health. Researchers believe resveratrol, which is found in red wine, has benefits for the brain.
Family caregivers often become overwhelmed when caring for a loved one who is at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior care, Centennial Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Whether your loved one loves to sing, play the piano, or even hum along to the radio, encouraging her to make music could help her brain. Researchers at Baycrest Health Sciences have linked making music to a healthy brain. Making music alters brain waves that help seniors enhance their hearing and listening skills, which rewires the brain to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
If you are concerned about your loved one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Centennial respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give Home Care Assistance a call at 303.957.3100 today.