8 Tips to Reducing Alzheimer’s Risk

At American House, taking care of our residents is our No. 1 priority — and this includes providing the latest research on topics like Alzheimer’s disease when it becomes available. According to J. Carper at Senior Psychcare, new research into Alzheimer’s indicates that the disease develops over many years and is often influenced by lifestyle factors — and therefore there are things people can do to possibly delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Here are 8 things you can do now to cut your risk of Alzheimer’s:

 

1. Drink a cup of coffee

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Coffee and caffeine may actually be good for the brain. Carper mentions a European study noting that those who drank 3-5 cups of coffee each day had a 65%-less risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Plus, other prominent researchers note that caffeine reduces dementia and many have shown the benefits of antioxidants in coffee.

As always, please discuss any dietary changes with your doctor — even an increase in caffeine — as there are other health factors that need to be taken into consideration when altering your diet.

2. Floss your teeth daily

Many people may not realize the connection between oral health and overall health. There may even be a connection between dental hygiene and your brain’s function: Carper lists studies that found those who had periodontal disease by the time they were 35 QUADRUPLED their odds of having dementia. In addition, other studies found that those with gum disease scored lower on memory tests. Why? It is assumed that inflammation in the mouth can travel to the brain.

Keep having those regular dental check-ups and treat any oral issues for better overall health.

3. Google and play online

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Gary Small of UCLA used MRIs to track brain stimulation on participants who did online searches and found that doing so increased activity even more than reading a book, according to Carper. Jumping around on a Web site and engages the brain more than reading, so jump online for an hour or so and find something new to learn!

And while you’re at it, try to Skype with friends and relatives!

4. Keep growing new brain cells

How do you grow new brain cells? In many ways! Exercise helps — even going for a brisk walk every morning or trying some yoga poses in the afternoon. Stimulate your brain by doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku or other brain teasers. In addition, incorporating some brain-friendly foods into your diet, like salmon can help, as can working toward overall good health practices (like getting enough sleep).

As with any alteration to your exercise routine or diet, please consult your doctor before making any changes.

5. Drink some apple juice

An apple a day keeps the Alzheimer’s away! According to Carper, apple juice can increase production of the “memory chemical” acetylcholine. University of Massachusetts’ Thomas Shea, Ph. D., says this is how Aricept, the common Alzheimer’s medication, works. So, pour a glass of apple juice with breakfast and snack on an apple or two throughout the day!

Consult your doctor with any dietary changes, even just an increase in the amount of apples or apple juice you consume.

6. Cover your head

Professional football players — who notoriously receive numerous blows to the head throughout their careers — have 19 times the normal rate of memory-related diseases, Carper states. Researchers are now finding that any type of blow to the head throughout life increases the odds of dementia down the road. Wear a helmet when biking and protect that head!

7. Clear your thoughts

Mediation offers several benefits and brain health is one of them. Those who meditate regularly have less cognitive decline, Carper found. Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says yoga meditation for 12 minutes a day for two months improved blood flow and cognitive functioning in seniors with memory problems. And the good news is that anyone can meditate!

96_XuohO5lhzzNyhC9RGViiuRJt5wkLD2hRhQDi0tV88. Increase vitamin D intake

One of the most common nutrients adults lack is Vitamin D — which also comes from the sun. Deficiencies increase risk of cognitive impairment, Carper notes, by nearly 400%! Get some sun for several minutes every day and look for ways to increase your intake of vitamin D through food sources or supplements.

Talk to your doctor before beginning a new vitamin regimen or changing your diet.

To find out more about becoming a resident at American House, call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com.

20 Ways to Care for the Caregiver

dlOZB8pjwC80W36SJ1xID74IZBpNi7_9sbtOstEPnh4Being a caregiver is a difficult undertaking and it’s important to remember to take care of YOU so you can effectively take care of others. Caregivers can face an increased risk of developing heath issues, including depression, sleep deprivation and chronic conditions including high blood pressure — and caregivers often find themselves neglecting their own health and well-being.

Here are some important ways to take care of you, as the caregiver:

MENTALLY & SPIRTUALLY

1. Say “No.” Remember that you don’t have to do it all. When appropriate, know that it’s OK to say “no.”

2. Get organized. Take the time to find a system that works for you, whether it’s lists on your refrigerator or reminders on your phone.

3. Acknowledge your feelings. It’s OK to be sad, upset or scared about things you’re going through as a caregiver. You don’t have to be cheery and happy every second.

4. Let it go. You’ve got a lot on your mind, so find a way to get it out: Write in a journal every night, talk to a trusted friend or work with a therapist.

5. Set boundaries. When you set boundaries, you are more likely to stick to them — and help save yourself stress from unsavory situations.

PHYSICALLY

lLsrcfS0Pd2u7RbiswjVVoEz3wzF9fHYFSzlDcA0MnE6. Exercise. Take a brisk walk every day. Not only will this benefit you physically, but it will help to clear your mind, too.

7. Eat right. Be sure to give yourself plenty of healthy food options and eat nutritionally-balanced meals to keep up your strength and overall health.

8. Get regular checkups. When you call to make a doctor’s (or dental) appointment for the person in your care, be sure to take the time to schedule your own.

9. Sleep. Try for at least eight hours of sleep each night to keep your body rested and ready to combat any potential illnesses.

10. Rest when sick. The sooner you are back to optimal health, the sooner you can give full care to your loved one.

SOCIALLY

11. Connect with friends. Maintain your friendships or make new ones. Spending time with peers is important to retaining your sense self.

12. Find a hobby. Choose something you enjoy doing — a yoga class, scrapbooking, a book club, etc. — and make sure you do it every week.

13. Seek support. It’s important to find someone, such as a support group or another caregiver, who understands the unique challenges you face.

14. Plan fun. Give yourself something to look forward to by scheduling something fun. Do this regularly.

15. Schedule “me” time. At some point each day, do something that’s only for YOU. Take a walk, read a book, watch a movie or something else that brings you enjoyment.

RESOURCES

16. Ask for help. Whether it’s from family members, friends or health professionals don’t be afraid to receive help before you become overwhelmed.

17. Seek professional assistance. When possible, find out if you can delegate any of your responsibilities— whether these are for you (such as housecleaning, etc.) or your loved one.

18. Take care of your finances. Talk to an accountant or financial director about your financial means to make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin. Ask about medical benefits available.

19. Write it down. Keep a list handy to jot down things to discuss with doctors, information to look up and resources to ask about, etc. so you won’t wonder if you’re forgetting anything.

20. Consider other arrangements. There are many options available for care, including assisted living communities like American House.

AMERICAN HOUSE CARES

At American House, we know that being a caregiver can be stressful. If you have any questions or would like to see what American House has to offer, give us a call at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a visit.