Healthy Living Blog – Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness
September is World Alzheimer’s Month. It is an international effort to make everyone around the world more aware of dementia. Dementia is the loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning abilities. There is also a loss of behavioral abilities such as not being able to control emotions. Memory loss is the main sign of dementia. Dementia becomes more common in older adults but it is not a normal part of aging. There are different types of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
- A progressive disease that begins with mild memory loss. This can lead to a lack of responding to the surroundings such as having a conversation.
- The disease affects the parts of the brain that control memory, thought, and language.
- Severe Alzheimer’s can stop someone from doing their daily activities.
Who has Alzheimer’s disease?
- Adults over the age of 65.
- Adults are younger than the age of 65. This is called younger-onset, or early-onset, Alzheimer’s disease. It’s less common than older adults having this disease.
Signs of Alzheimer’s disease
- Memory loss and confusion
- Poor judgment
- Taking longer to finish daily tasks
- Changes in mood and personality
- An increase in anxiety and aggression — can’t control emotions
- Having a hard time learning and remembering new information
- Having trouble with language
- Not being able to communicate
- Weight loss
- Cannot swallow
- Sleeping more
Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s disease?
There is no cure for this disease. Treatment is available to better the quality of life for people living with Alzheimer’s. This includes helping people keep up their mental function, managing behavioral symptoms, and slowing the progress of the disease.
There is a lot of research right now that looks at ways to prevent Alzheimer’s. Nothing has been proven to prevent or slow down dementia from Alzheimer’s.
Here are some healthy lifestyle tips to promote healthy aging and maybe reduce your risk of dementia:
- Get physical exercise.
- Eat healthily. Make sure to eat the recommended portions of fruits and vegetables. Drink a lot of water. Include more fatty fish, like salmon, in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish are good for the brain and help mental function.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking harms blood circulation in the body. This means that the blood flows into the brain may have harmful chemicals from cigarettes.
- Drink less alcohol. Binge drinking increases the risk of alcohol-related brain damage.
- Keep your mind active. Do activities that challenge your brain. This can include:
- Learning a new language
- Doing puzzles or crosswords
- Playing card or board games
- Talking regularly with your friends and family
Have questions or curious to learn more? Please reach out to our Health Center and make an appointment to speak with a doctor. AACI provides services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (408) 975-2763 to schedule your appointment today!