You’re not alone if you’re concerned about caring for your memory. About 6 million Americans are afflicted with either Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. By 2060, that number is expected to more than double, to 16 million. Caring for your memory has never been more important! But along with fear of memory disorders comes a plethora of misinformation. That’s why we’re examining facts and myths about caring for your health in this resource.
Understand common facts and myths about memory health
To help you make the best decisions for you or a family member, here are some of the most common facts and myths about caring for your memory:
All memory loss is a sign of dementia.
While increased forgetfulness can be an alarming notion for individuals or family members, not all memory loss is a sign of dementia. In fact, some forgetfulness is a normal sign of aging. Not remembering where you set the remote, or forgetting your phone when you head out to the grocery store, is oftentimes perfectly normal (as we age, or at any age).
Of course, you should always raise concerns with your doctor, particularly if forgetfulness seems to be increasing in severity or regularity.
There is nothing you can do to prevent memory disorders.
While there is no “magical” prevention tool for Alzheimer’s and other dementias, there are lifestyle changes you can make that reduce your risks, including:
Get (or stay) active
Exercise isn’t just a great way to reduce your risk of developing dementia, it’s good for your mental well-being, your cardiovascular system, and just about your entire body. Check with a doctor before beginning any new exercise program, but whether you want to strap on some walking shoes or do some yoga, try to add some movement into every day. Here at Veranda of Pensacola, we encourage our senior living residents to stay active or explore new physical activities in our fitness center, but also in our fun exercise classes and activities.
Improve your diet
You know what they say: “We are what we eat,” right? Well, that’s partially true! That’s because what we eat has a profound impact on our health, and our ability to delay or prevent onset of some dangerous diseases, including stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and yes, Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
In particular, working foods from the Mediterranean diet into your meals has been shown to be especially protective when caring for your memory. Foods like:
Whole Grains, like whole wheat pasta, oats, and 100% whole grain bread.
Fruits, vegetables, and especially leafy greens like berries (which are extremely high in protective antioxidants), your favorite vegetables, and leafy greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, and collard greens, which are nutritional powerhouses.
More fish and less red meat, particularly avoiding lamb and beef, and especially processed meats like bacon and cold cuts, while fish like salmon and mackerel have protective omega-3 fatty acids that you often hear about – they are excellent for brain health!
Limited salt and alcohol, but we all probably knew that anyway – it’s good to know that limiting those can specifically help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, though.
Saving sugary treats for special occasions and parties, and not going too overboard on the treats everyday, and when you’re adding in such healthy, filling foods every day, it actually becomes hard to overindulge anyway!
Here at Veranda of Pensacola, our fine dining room showcases our impressive menu of meals each day. Our chefs and nutrition experts design meal options around various cuisines, palates, and of course, health considerations. Three meals a day, we’ll provide you with options to ensure you’re eating a balanced, healthy diet.
Veranda of Pensacola provides senior and assisted living that gives you a vacation-style retirement
We are committed to helping you live your best life, no matter what life throws at you. Our levels of assisted living care can help provide comfort and assistance to you or a loved one battling memory problems. To learn more about our senior living and assisted living options, contact our team today. We are here to help!