Alzheimer’s and dementia is the sixth leading cause of death among Americans. You can preserve your mental health by reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. And there are many Mindful tips that can help that can help with Alzheimer’s prevention.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is “a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.” It is the most common form of dementia, and it’s also a progressive disease that gradually gets worse over time. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are many treatments including medications and alternative therapies. Over five million Americans have Alzheimer’s. And one in three seniors with dementia will die.
There are many ways in which people can lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease, including regular exercise and a healthy diet. Some experts suggest that learning to play a musical instrument or dancing can lower Alzheimer’s risk.
3 Tips for Alzheimer’s Prevention
Listed below are a few more ways for you to age mindfully and lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Postpone retirement. Fifty-eight percent of American workers, ages 60 years old or older, are postponing retirement. The reason for delaying retirement varies (from money problems to necessary job benefits), but postponing retirement does have a silver lining. According to the INSERM (the French government’s health agency), for every year a person works past retirement, their risk of dementia reduces by three percent. This is because a job keeps you “physically active, socially connected, and mentally challenged,” which helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
- Learn a new language. Twenty percent of Americans are bilingual, which is great since learning a new language can benefit your brain. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, “lifelong bilingualism can maintain youthful cognitive control abilities in aging adults.” Speaking another language keeps brains fit. As the brain processes different words and sounds, the brain must “work in an entirely different setting in terms of syntax and social norms.” If a bilingual person does develop dementia, they experience symptoms later than their monolingual counterparts. Are you not fluent in a second language? No worries, it’s never too late to learn, and you can still gain some mental health benefits.
- Reduce your stress. Stress can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In a Swedish Alzheimer’s study, researchers studied the effect of stress on mice. In the study, 79 percent of the mice developed Alzheimer’s after being exposed to a stress steroid. These stressed mice developed Alzheimer’s disease faster than the control group of mice. Stress also impacted their memory and learning capabilities. So, to reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s, it’s important to lower your stress. Consider partaking in yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises.