It’s not unusual to worry about the possibility of your older family members developing dementia. It’s a devastating condition that has a huge impact on families. The disease is particularly cruel because it can cause older adults to forget the people who love them most. If you’re concerned about your aging relative’s chances of developing dementia, new information suggests that you may be able to reduce their risk by helping them to prevent stroke.
Stroke and Dementia
British researchers reviewed information gathered in 48 studies involving 3.2 million people from around the world. The data showed that people who have had a stroke in the past have a 70 percent increased risk of developing dementia. And, people who had a recent stroke were at twice the risk for dementia.
The study does not prove that stroke leads to dementia, but it does suggest a need for better stroke prevention and for changes in treatment after a stroke.
The good news about stroke is that most of the risk factors are modifiable. There are several lifestyle changes that can reduce the chances that your aging relative will suffer a stroke, such as:
-Healthy Diet: Experts recommend making dietary changes like eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing fat. It’s also important to reduce the amount of sodium the person eats. Learning to read labels can help seniors and their caregivers to make good food choices.
-Manage Weight: Being overweight increases the risk of stroke. If your family member is carrying some extra pounds, encourage them to lose weight. Eating a healthier diet will help.
-Physical Activity: Getting some exercise can help seniors to lose excess weight or remain at a healthy weight. It can also help to improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
-Quit Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for stroke as well as many other serious health conditions. Talk to a doctor about strategies for helping your aging relative to quit.
-Limit Alcohol: Alcohol raises blood pressure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that men should have no more than two drinks per day and women only one.
One way to help older adults to prevent stroke is to make it a team effort. Everyone who is involved with the care of the senior should follow steps to prevent stroke and help the older adult to be healthier. A senior care provider can be an important part of that team. Senior care providers can help older adults to live a more active lifestyle by involving them in household tasks and helping them to exercise by going for walks or driving them to the gym. Senior care providers can also prepare healthy meals that are low in sodium and fat.
Are you or a loved one considering Homecare in Murray, UT? Please talk to the friendly staff at December Rose Senior Care at Home. Providing Home Care in Highland, Utah and Surrounding Communities. 801-427-ROSE (7673)
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