To help caregivers learn more about what is good for brain health and Alzheimer’s, The Kensington Falls Church is proud to host the Brain it On! summit supporting the missions of Hilarity for Charity (HFC) and the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM).
Our virtual event Brain It On! includes information from top health experts including founder of WAM, Maria Shriver, and leaders of HFC, Seth and Lauren Miller Rogen. They share the steps you and your senior loved ones can take to live a brain-healthy life and prevent Alzheimer’s.
Brain health is a life-long journey. How you take care of yourself has a significant effect on the body and the mind. However, even if you and your loved ones haven’t always lived a healthy lifestyle, it’s not too late to start now. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the leading way to protect brain health and prevent memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
As your loved one ages, you may notice changes in their memory, thinking, and cognition. Minor changes are to be expected and related to the normal aging process. However, significant memory loss is usually a sign of a brain injury or memory disease. Early detection of Alzheimer’s is crucial, so you should always reach out to your loved one’s physician if you have any concerns.
The progression of Alzheimer’s and Other Forms of Dementia
How quickly a memory disease progresses will vary from person to person, but the stages a senior goes through are the same. While going through these stages, a senior may require specific types of memory care, depending on which stage they are in.
When a senior develops Alzheimer’s, the symptoms will typically come on gradually, worsening over the years. In the beginning, it will be difficult to tell that your senior loved one has the disease. Most seniors will have Alzheimer’s for years before showing any symptoms. This is considered the preclinical stage.
Aside from the less discussed preclinical stage, there are three general stages of Alzheimer’s disease:
- Mild (early stage)
- Moderate (middle stage)
- Severe (late-stage)
Dementia may progress slowly for some seniors, but unlike those with Alzheimer’s, other seniors will develop symptoms more quickly. The rate at which dementia progresses will depend on the cause or type of dementia a senior has.
The seven stages of dementia are:
- Stage 1: No cognitive impairment — No signs or symptoms of having dementia
- Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline — Minor forgetfulness that compares to normal age-related cognitive decline
- Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline — Memory and cognitive problems become a little more obvious. It may help to create a daily care plan for your senior loved one.
- Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline — Definite signs of memory loss. Caregivers will need to remain alert for more severe signs and symptoms and begin to get more involved in a senior’s care.
- Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline — Your senior loved one will be unable to carry out daily tasks alone. You may want to look into a memory care community for assistance, if you haven’t already.
- Stage 6: Severe cognitive decline — Senior may be unable to recognize their loved ones and need more assistance with basic daily tasks
- Stage 7: Very severe cognitive decline — In the final stage of dementia, a senior will typically be unable to care for themselves and lose the ability to speak. They may need hospice care.
What Is Good for Brain Health?
Learning how to prevent a memory disease is simpler than treating one, as there is no way to cure Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is why living a consistently healthy life is essential. While it’s okay to have an off day, most days should be lived as healthy as possible.
Eating for brain health
Eating a Mediterranean diet is the most beneficial diet for optimal brain health. When following this diet, your senior loved one will mainly eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and fish. They will also cut out processed foods, sugar, and salt.
Most assisted living communities base their meals on this diet, knowing it is best for their residents’ health.
Sleep restores and maintains brain health. During the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night, the brain is not at rest, it’s busy clearing out harmful toxins. Without an adequate amount of sleep, the brain can’t clear these toxins, leading to a build-up. The build-up of these toxic proteins is what can cause memory loss and memory diseases.
Peace of mind
Eliminating stress is good for the soul and brain. Your senior will benefit from positive and healthy activities such as drawing, writing, reading, yoga, and meditation. These are all good for stress relief, which promotes mental and emotional well-being.
At The Kensington Falls Church, your senior would be part of a state-of-the-art assisted living community. Here they offer the previously mentioned activities, health and wellness optimization, and a full-spectrum of care.
Women and brain health
Two-thirds of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are women. Research has recently been able to pinpoint why. Hormones play a major role in the development of the disease and other brain issues, such as tumors. Estrogen can protect brain health in women, but its dips and changes can disrupt the formation and connections between neurons needed for memory.
If caught in time, when estrogen is not released properly, a woman can receive hormone replacement therapy, which may help reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s.
Enhanced memory care at The Kensington Falls Church
Our Promise at The Kensington Falls Church is to love and care for your family as we do our own. We know how special your senior loved one is to you and that you want to make the best decisions for them.
We understand that it is a major decision to transition your senior loved one to a community setting. We try to make this transition easier by offering your senior loved one comfort, assistance, fun in a social environment, and multiple types of therapy and treatment. Together these help us provide what is good for brain health to promote well-being and happiness.
If you would like to find out more about our beautiful and cozy enhanced memory care communities, contact us today.