How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Let’s talk about “the elephant in the room” today.
It’s probably the thing you fear the most. What can you do now to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from showing up in you? As a family caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, the thought keeps looming inside your head… Am I going to get this disease? It’s a terrifying thought. I watched the toll it took on my family when my grandmother got the disease. My mom became her advocate and fought to get her into a safe place to live with the care she needed, much to the dismay of her siblings.
It was a sobering moment for me when my mom was diagnosed.
Based on her behavior in the doctor’s office that day, I think she already knew, but now her secret was revealed and her worst fear confirmed. And for the next 12 1/2 years, as I was taking care of her, I wondered, am I next to get this horrible disease? You just can’t help but wonder, right?
Today I want to talk about things you can do now to act as an insurance policy to keep Alzheimer’s at bay, or at least prolong it’s appearance. As I’ve prepared for this episode today, I compared the various things that are recommended, and noticed that my mom did most all of them. She wasn’t diagnosed until she was 79 years old. Perhaps, if she hadn’t lived the life she did, and made the choices she made, it would have shown up sooner. I don’t know, but it’s just a guess.
It’s almost become a joke.
Forget the word you wanted to use and joke ‘Must be early Alzheimer’s.’ Lose track of where you left your keys? “Uh oh! Guess I’m getting Alzheimer’s.” Alzheimer’s Disease is no joking matter, though, and we know it even under the casual, joking jabs at our own memory problems. I suspect that most of us, especially as caregivers, when those occasional lapses of memory happen, wonder if we really ARE starting to lose our memories to one of the most baffling and devastating diseases we know.
According to the Center for Disease Control statistics, 20% of adults who are in nursing homes have a primary diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease – over 214,000 people. For many of us who are approaching the far side of middle age, that’s a frightening statistic. Those jokes have the air of gallows humor.
There is good news on the Alzheimer’s front. Research into risk factors and predisposition have turned up some interesting correlations between general health, social well-being and Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association has some suggestions that may help lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, and even slow its progression among those who have already started showing symptoms.
6 Strategies To Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
1. Eat your fruits and veggies to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Mother always told you to eat all your veggies, and this is one more good reason. In one study of over 1,800 elderly men and women, researchers found that those who drank fruit or vegetable juice at least three times a week had a 75% less risk of developing Alzheimer’s than those who drank less than one glass per week. Why?
The answer probably lies in the effects of antioxidants. Fruit juices – especially berry juices – are among the highest sources of antioxidants around. Dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, berries and citrus juices are all up there as excellent sources of antioxidant goodness. Get out the juicer and drink up!
2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet – and don’t forget your fats.
A healthy diet is basic to a healthy brain. Whole grains, vegetables and fruits should be your major source of calories, but doctors are starting to take a closer look at fats again. One source of fat that appears to be vital to rebuilding and maintaining brain cells is fish. The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in high concentrations in cold-water fish like tuna and salmon, as well as in shellfish, are an important ingredient in building neural pathways that function properly. Nutritionists suggest including a source of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet at least three times a week. Tuna casserole, anyone?
3. Get social!
In a study of over 2,500 men, those who had the least contact with friends and family were nearly 3 times as likely to develop dementia as those who had more active social lives. Social activity and maintaining family and social ties seem to stimulate the brain cells and keep them from atrophying. When’s the last time you had coffee with your sister, hm?
As a caregiver, you need to be mindful about isolating yourself from the world outside your door. Make a point to keep in contact with friends and family. And don’t forget to continue to welcome new friendships, too. Plan activities on a regular basis with your friends; weekly or at least monthly.
4. Exercise your brain to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Recent studies strongly suggest that elderly people – including those with Alzheimer’s Disease, can improve their memories with practice. Researchers suggest that activities like crossword puzzles, memory games and challenging mental activities could help the brain create new neural pathways as old brain cells die off. Get out the word-search books and have some mental fun!
I’ve been using some online strategy games for years to exercise my brain. I particularly enjoy word games, as well as match 3 types of games. For me, it’s also a stress reliever because I’m thinking about the game and not all the other stuff that causes stress.
5. Stay physically active.
In one study of almost 500 adult children of parents with Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers found that those who exercised regularly scored better on memory and problem solving tasks than those who were sedentary. It may be that exercise, which promotes healthy circulation and gets the blood flowing through your entire body, helps nourish the brain by getting more nutrients to it on a regular basis. Take a walk or take up swimming – or join a fitness group to combine social AND physical activities in one.
6. Take CBD Oil daily.
CBD Oil has neuroprotective qualities which means it protects your brain. Simply place a few drops under the tongue a couple times a day. It’s one of the best ways you can protect your brain from Alzheimer’s and dementia. 2 years ago, it wasn’t very well known. I personally found out about it right before my mom’s death. The more I researched it and read testimonials, the more I wished I could have had it so that my mom could have benefited from it. Neuroprotection is just one of the many benefits of CBD oil. There are 13 other known benefits. Among which include pain relief, and stress and anxiety relief. It’s like CBD Oil is meant for Alzheimer’s family caregivers!
Not all CBD Oils are alike.
There are better ones and not so good ones, too. I’ve done my research, and can recommend what I have found to be the best one available. Please understand that I will never recommend anything I don’t already use, or have used when I was a caregiver. I consider CBD oil to be my secret weapon to prevent Alzheimer’s and heart disease. (Heart disease is something else that seems to run in my family.) I do receive compensation when you purchase through my link, and that helps keep this podcast going. So thank you if you decide to pick it up through me. You’ll also get my exclusive bonus when you purchase through my link at Alzheimer’sCaregiverRadio.com/cbd. So go check it out.
The bottom line?
Doctors and researchers aren’t sure what causes it, so there’s no surefire way to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease from developing. They do know that people who share certain traits are much less likely to develop the symptoms though. Stay fit, get active, get out with your friends often, take CBD oil and do what you can to enjoy your life. As a prescription for preventing Alzheimer’s disease, it sounds like a great way to live!