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.
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.
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.
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) 590-2792 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.