What Are the Top 5 Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s is a progressive illness. Because of the devastating effects this disease has on the mind and body, it is important for family caregivers to understand some of its contributing factors and determine if their senior loved ones’ risks can be reduced. Kitchener Alzheimer’s care professionals discuss 5 of the major risk factors for Alzheimer’s.

1. Age

Though Alzheimer’s is not a natural result of aging, growing older is still the top risk factor for this disease. A small percentage of the population develops early-onset Alzheimer’s in their 30′s, but the vast majority of people who develop the disease are over age 65. The risk increases even further once a person reaches age 85.

2. Cardiovascular Health

There is a strong correlation between a senior’s cardiovascular health and the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. The heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. If the heart is not functioning at its best, the brain does not receive adequate blood flow, leading to an increase in brain plaque and eventually Alzheimer’s.

3. Head Injuries

Repeated head injuries from bad falls or blows to the head significantly raise the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Seniors who are physically healthy enough to participate in martial arts or sports like boxing and football may want to avoid these activities to prevent head injuries and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

4. Genetics

Alzheimer’s disease can be inherited. Seniors who have an immediate family member with the disease have a much higher chance of developing it than those who do not, and those who have more than one close family member with Alzheimer’s have an even higher risk.

5. Gender

Women who have already gone through menopause have a decreased amount of estrogen in their bodies. This hormone deficiency is believed to increase an older woman’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Even if a woman takes supplemental estrogen through hormone replacement therapy, her Alzheimer’s risk is not lowered.

If you are concerned about your aging loved one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease, reach out to the KW in-home care experts at Home Care Assistance. We offer a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally stimulating activities to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on senior care Kitchener, ON, families can count on, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

4 Fun Activities & Classes for Seniors in Waterloo

Waterloo elder home care professionals believe continuing to exercise, learn new things, and socialize in the golden years is instrumental in maintaining optimum health. In Waterloo, ON, there are a multitude of classes and activities that are perfect for people over 65. Your senior loved one may find these 4 suggestions offer fun and rewarding experiences.

1. Swimming at the Memorial Recreation Complex

The Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex at 101 Father David Bauer Drive offers a daily adult swimming class from 6:30pm to 7:15pm. In this class, your loved one can learn how to work on proper breathing techniques, front and back floats, flutter kicks, and other swimming skills. Swimming can increase your loved one’s strength and help him or her look and feel healthier.

2. Golfing with the 55+ Golf League

Every Wednesday morning at select GolfNorth courses, the Waterloo Seniors Golf Club offers golf games for seniors 55 and over. Your loved one can learn valuable golfing tips, and registration makes him or her eligible to buy a GolfNorth Player’s Card, which offers a discount on non-league days. Golfing is a great low-impact exercise that can get your loved one’s blood pumping and increase his or her concentration skills.

3. Playing Cards at the Adult Recreation Centre

The Adult Recreation Centre at 185 King Street South runs a year-round card game social for seniors 55 and over. On Thursdays from 1:30pm to 4:30pm, your loved one can learn how to play card games like bridge and enjoy coffee while meeting new friends. Socializing can help reduce stress and increase emotional wellbeing, and playing cards can keep your loved one’s brain stimulated.

4. Exercising at Innovative Wellness

On Fridays from 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Innovative Wellness offers a fitness class taught by a Bone Fit-trained instructor. Seniors of all fitness levels and those living with bone diseases can perform Bone Fit-approved exercises and learn ways to make accomplishing daily activities easier. Each class also focuses on fall prevention.

If your loved one needs transportation or a companion to accompany him or her to classes and activities such as these, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care in KW. All of our caregivers are trained in our proprietary Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to exercise regularly, get plenty of social and mental stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. For more information on the respite and 24-hour care Waterloo, ON, seniors trust, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to request a free in-home consultation.

How to Manage HIV & AIDS in the Senior Years

In 2011, over 26 percent of reported AIDS cases in Canada were seniors, and this number is steadily increasing. HIV-positive Canadians are able to live longer and healthier lives because of better treatment options, but there are still a few special considerations they need to take. If your elderly loved one is living with HIV or AIDS, the Kitchener elder care experts at Home Care Assistance have a few tips to help him or her remain healthy.

Eat a Diet Rich in Fiber and Probiotics

Because HIV attacks the T cells produced in the stomach, many seniors who have this virus develop gastrointestinal conditions, making it extremely difficult for their bodies to absorb certain forms of antiretroviral medication. When consumed in higher doses, both probiotics and fiber can protect T cells, boost gut bacteria, and strengthen the lining of the GI tract.

Test for Additional STDs Immediately

Even if your loved one is no longer sexually active and not showing the symptoms of another STD, he or she may still be a carrier. Not only can HIV make other STDs progress at a quicker rate, but other STDs often exacerbate HIV’s side effects. If your loved one has not had a comprehensive STD test carried out in the last year, schedule an appointment with a doctor immediately.

Manage Medications Properly

Poor medication management can be devastating to seniors who have HIV or AIDS. Many forms of HIV medication must be taken every day, and missing a single dose gives the virus the opportunity to become resistant to the pills. Kitchener, ON, caregivers and family members providing home care in KW can help quite a bit with medication management. Calling your loved one every day to make sure he or she has taken the necessary medication can prevent a fatal accident.

Look After Emotional Health

A 2009 study funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found people with HIV are nearly twice as likely to experience depression as those without the virus. Not only does depression affect emotional wellbeing, but it can also compromise the immune system. In addition to personal counseling and group therapy, seniors who have been diagnosed with HIV might also be prescribed depression medication to enhance their overall quality of life.

If your loved one needs help managing HIV or AIDS, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to provide medication reminders and emotional support, prepare nutritious meals, and assist with many other important tasks. In addition to respite and live-in care, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care Kitchener, ON, seniors can rely on. For more information and to schedule a free consultation with a qualified Care Manager, call (519) 954-2111 today.

Why Should Seniors Eat Mushrooms More Often?

Mushrooms are versatile, which makes them easy to add to a variety of healthy dishes, and these members of the fungi kingdom contain a few powerful benefits for people over 65. The Waterloo respite home care experts at Home Care Assistance have put together a list of reasons why seniors should include more mushrooms in their diets.

Increase Folic Acid Intake

Folic acid is essential for maintaining good health in the senior years because it helps prevent anemic diseases, which are all too common in the elderly. According to the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine, the folic acid content of mushrooms meets the Dietary Reference Intake recommended for seniors. Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition examined the bioavailability of food folates and found the folic acid bioavailability in mushrooms is comparable to green vegetables like peas and spinach.

Combat Cancer

Seniors should have diets high in selenium and vitamin D to lower their risks for developing cancer. The selenium found in mushrooms helps prevent tumor growth and the vitamin D can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Boost Cardiovascular Health

According to Dr. Marvin Moser, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Yale University, 2 out of 3 people over age 75 have high blood pressure. To achieve lower blood pressure, seniors should follow diets higher in potassium with little salt intake. Consuming mushrooms can help alleviate hypertension because they are high in potassium and low in sodium.

Promote Digestive Health

As seniors age, their bodies tend to develop more problems with constipation. A high-fiber diet can help prevent constipation because fiber works to promote regular bowel movements. Within their cell walls, mushrooms contain 2 types of dietary fiber: beta-glucans and chitin.

For more information on senior nutrition, reach out to the KW elderly care experts at Home Care Assistance. Our expertly trained caregivers can help prepare nutritious meals, go grocery shopping for healthy foods, and help seniors with a wide variety of tasks around the house. To learn more about the senior home care Waterloo, ON, families trust, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to request a no-obligation consultation.