How to Help Your Elderly Parent Stave Off Alzheimer’s

By , 9:00 am on

Doctors believe around 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and there’s currently no known cure for this health condition. However, seniors can reduce their risk of developing this disease by making a few lifestyle changes. 

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. 

Encourage Exercise

Unless otherwise directed by their doctors, seniors should try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. While exercising, the goal is to gently raise the heart rate without putting too much stress on the body. Cycling, swimming, dancing, and hiking are all excellent options for seniors with Alzheimer’s. According to neuroscientist Dr. Art Kramer, exercising for about 150 minutes a week can reduce a senior’s risk of Alzheimer’s by nearly five percent. 

Serve More Fruits & Vegetables

Fresh produce should be the cornerstone of healthy diets, and seniors with Alzheimer’s need more fruits and vegetables than the average adult. Fruits and vegetables contain unique compounds known as anthocyanosides, which attack the free radicals that cause cognitive impairment. A healthy diet can also stimulate the body’s natural healing process and reduce inflammation in the brain. 

Supplement the Diet with Fish Oil

Fish oil has become one of the most popular supplements in the world because of its many health benefits, which are due in large part to the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids it contains. This class of acids is found in certain fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Much like anthocyanosides, omega-3 fatty acids attack and destroy the free radicals that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Be Wary of Tobacco Products & Alcohol

Studies show drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes can impact an individual’s mental and physical health. Those who consume more than 14 units of alcohol a week have much higher rates of Alzheimer’s. Seniors who are having a difficult time quitting these products should speak with their doctors about their treatment options. 

Helping a loved one quit smoking while managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be challenging for many family caregivers. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Amarillo, 24-hour care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Train the Brain

Seniors should continue to challenge their brains to keep them healthy. Simple exercises such as completing crossword puzzles can have a major impact on a senior’s cognitive health. Learning new skills is another great way to create additional neural pathways and stave off Alzheimer’s. Many senior centers and community organizations offer free or affordable classes to seniors who want to learn skills such as knitting, whittling, painting, photography, and scrapbooking.

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Amarillo home care service provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. To learn about our high-quality Alzheimer’s care plans, get in touch with one of our friendly Care Managers at (806) 803-9991 today.