5 Things That Put Older Adults at Risk for Dementia

Dementia is one of the most common health issues among the elderly. However, it’s possible to stave off the condition and maintain a high quality of life by making healthy lifestyle choices. The La Mesa elderly home care specialists at Coast Care Partners discuss a few risk factors for dementia.

1. Weight Gain

Obesity reduces brain volume, which puts older adults with a high body mass index (BMI) at risk for dementia. Seniors can maintain a healthy weight by eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and avoiding sugary foods. Diets rich in sugar and starch leave seniors feeling hungry and cause them to overeat and gain excessive pounds.

2. Inflammation

Elevations in blood sugar levels can lead to inflammation, which increases the risk of dementia. Inflammation increases the amount of abnormalities in the brain’s white matter structure, which is necessary for cognitive function and transmission of neural messages. Some of the best ways to prevent inflammation in the senior years include:

Exercising on a regular basis
• Eating healthy meals
• Enhancing the quality of sleep 
• Staying hydrated

3. Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety damage areas of the brain involved in critical thinking, memory, and emotional responses. Chronic stress accelerates cognitive decline in the golden years. However, staying socially active can help seniors lower their anxiety levels. Older adults should also learn what triggers the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Once they know their triggers, seniors may be able to control stress and anxiety and lower their risk of dementia.

4. Inactivity

It’s fairly easy for seniors to sit around the house all day watching television, browsing the internet, or reading books. While these activities provide mental stimulation, lack of movement could cause brain cells to die. It’s important for older adults to exercise so they can raise levels of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor in their bodies. These proteins prevent dead brain cells and build new ones. Family caregivers can encourage their loved ones to engage in fun physical activities such as dancing, taking weekly walks through the neighborhood, and performing water aerobics.

5. Insufficient Vitamin D Intake

The older your loved one gets, the more vitamin D he or she may need. When aging adults don’t get enough of the sunshine vitamin, their mental health and many of their bodily functions may be negatively impacted. Your loved one can get more vitamin D by eating fatty fish, getting an adequate amount of sunlight each day, and taking supplements.

Older adults can stave off dementia and maintain a high quality of life by opting for professional in-home care. If your aging parent needs help making healthy lifestyle choices, turn to Coast Care Partners, the leading senior home care agency in La Mesa, CA. Our caregivers offer regular mental and social stimulation to help older adults prevent a wide variety of mental issues. We can also help your senior loved one with an array of daily tasks such as meal prep, exercise, and light housekeeping. To get the best home care La Mesa has to offer, give us a call at 619-354-2544 today.