Fit and Fabulous Over 40


Loving, Supportive Kids May Help Lower Seniors’ Dementia Risk

Loving, Supportive Kids May Help Lower Seniors’ Dementia Risk
June 27
09:48 2017

Be honest and admit that dementia is something you fear as you get older. Whether a loved one, friend or even a stranger in a store, we’ve all seen older people suffering from some form of dementia and seeing them can be a frightening reality to all of us.

If you’ve had to deal with a loved one, perhaps a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle who suffered from dementia, you know how frustrating it can be, just communicating and caring for them. Sometimes the dementia turns what was a passive and pleasant person into a hostile, angry and rebellious person, pushing caretakers to the breaking point. They often don’t want to do what you believe they should be doing or what is necessary to do. Just feeding, cleaning and dressing them can be worse and more difficult than trying to do the same with a defiant three-year-old.

In a previous post, we explained 10 tips to help communicate with someone with dementia. Quickly, here is a brief list:

1- Set a positive mood for interaction.

2- Get the person’s attention.

3- State your message clearly.

4- Ask simple, easily understandable questions.

5- Listen with more than your ears.

6- Break down activities into simple step.

7- When the going gets tough, distract and redirect.

8- Respond with affection and reassurance.

9- Remember the good old days.

10- Maintain your sense of humor.

These things help to deal with someone with dementia, but is there anything you can do to help prevent the onset of dementia for yourself? YES!

For one, watch your diet and STOP drinking diet soda. Some fairly recent studies have linked an increased risk of dementia, specifically, Alzheimer’s disease, to regular consumption of diet soda. Also, reduce the amount of alcohol you drink as larger amounts of alcohol can destroy brain cells and help with the onset of dementia later on in life.

This one really hurt and that’s reduce the amount of red meat (beef, pork and lamb) you eat, along with fatty foods or foods that contain saturated fats like potato chips, French fries, butter and many cheeses, among others. These foods can produce plaque that builds up in the brain which can then lead to the onset of dementia.

Stay physically and mentally active as much as possible. Physical activity can and should include regular exercise. Mentally active means using your mind for numerous tasks. If need be, take up word, crossword and jigsaw puzzles. Try doing Sudoku puzzles or other brain games, which are readily available online and in books.

However, a recent study has revealed a way to lower the risk of dementia that many people overlook. According to one source:

“The finding ‘suggests older adults who experienced a reliable, approachable and understanding relationship with their adult children were less likely to develop dementia,’ said study author Mizanur Khondoker. ‘Conversely, a close relationship that did not work well — such as experiencing critical, unreliable and irritating behaviors from spouses or partners, children and other immediate family — was related to increased risk of developing dementia’.” …

“The researchers observed that those who had received positive support from their adult children faced a reduced risk of dementia. Khondoker described the association as ‘modest,’ noting that for every one-point increase in positive support from an adult child, dementia risk dropped by an average of 17 percent.”

“Conversely, for every one-point increase in an individual’s overall negative social support ‘score’ — the risk for dementia went up by 31 percent, he said.”

Want to lower your risk of developing dementia?

As your parents get older, make sure you maintain a close and supportive relationship with them. Let them know you care and are always there for them. Be encouraging, not critical. Not only will this help your parents reduce their chances of developing dementia, but it sets a good example for your kids as you grow older and need their support.

Work on keeping a good positive relationship with your adult kids and even your spouse which is very good thing. A happy home and happy family can be mentally beneficial as well as emotionally beneficial.

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