Many people are surprised to learn gender can play a major role in cognitive health. Studies continue to show women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than men, and doctors have recently uncovered a few of the reasons women might be more susceptible to the disease. Medical researchers have also discovered a handful of steps seniors can take to protect their cognitive health and minimize their risk of developing Alzheimer’s and many other forms of dementia.
What the Numbers Show
According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, women over the age of 65 have a 20 percent chance of developing Alzheimer’s, which makes it one of the most common health complications among elderly women. Even though doctors have been able to identify some of the primary risk factors for this disease, the connection between gender and Alzheimer’s is still a mystery to most doctors. Many health experts believe hormonal changes play a major role in cognitive health in the senior years.
Other Risk Factors
Even though gender does affect an individual’s cognitive health, it’s just one of the many factors that must be taken into consideration. As a general rule, any health complication that impacts the cardiovascular system—including issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol—also alters cognitive wellbeing. Older adults who are sedentary are much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s as well. Being active and staying engaged with the world are two of the most effective ways to combat the disease.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Waterloo families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Lowering the Risk
While a few of the leading risk factors are completely out of their control, seniors can do quite a bit to boost their cognitive health. One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s is to remain mentally stimulated. Seniors who have hobbies and constantly challenge their brains are much more likely to avoid this progressive disorder. Physical health is also important, and older adults should remain physically active and stick to a healthy diet. Everyone has slightly different dietary needs, but most nutrition experts agree seniors benefit from a diet that’s primarily filled with fresh produce, lean sources of protein, and whole grains.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Signs and Symptoms
Alzheimer’s doesn’t have a cure, but those who are diagnosed early can sometimes delay some of the worst symptoms, which is why all caregivers should keep an eye out for any of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Memory loss is the symptom most commonly associated with Alzheimer’s, but personality changes can take place as well. As a general rule, seniors should always seek medical advice if they notice any sudden issues with their memory, problem-solving skills, or personality.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help handling the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Waterloo seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (519) 954-2111 today.