Dementia is one of those words which sends shivers down our spines. It’s a fate worse than near enough any other illness. Yet, we’ve often treated it as an inevitable elderly health issue. That’s not surprising considering this does seem to be a mostly age-based problem. But, a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) is a reminder that there’s nothing inevitable about conditions like these.
Far from it, in fact. While there’s no exact science or cure behind dementia yet, WHO found that elderly individuals with the best lifestyles were at a lower risk. As such, it’s possible that simple lifestyle changes could be enough to keep this terrible condition at bay.
This is fantastic news given that the amount of dementia patients worldwide is set to triple to 152 million by the year 2050. Instead of sitting back and waiting for a scientific cure, then, this revelation comes at the right time for us to take an active part in stopping dementia in its tracks. But, how exactly do WHO suggest that we do it?
Remove risk factors
As is often the case when it comes to our health, the first suggestion is to remove risk factors. Elderly individuals who drink and smoke are undeniably more liable to fall foul to issues like dementia. That’s because, as professors like Robert Howard repeatedly tell patients, ‘…what is good for their hearts is probably good for their brains.’ The body is an intricate system, and harmful substances can hurt our minds as much as our bodies. Sadly, few of us realize this as the mental damage isn’t visible. But, thanks to this evidence from WHO, the hope is that more elderly patients will reach for vape pens and the best cheap juice on the market rather than cigarettes. There’s hope, too, that they’ll order orange juice instead of spirits which could potentially pave a path to dementia.
Eat a Mediterranean diet
As you might have guessed, WHO also urge older patients to embark on healthier diets, namely of the Mediterranean variety. This is nothing new. Throughout history, the Mediterranean lifestyle has often been recommended as a fantastic choice for preserving health. And, the Mediterranean diet itself is no different. That’s not surprising when you consider that meals like these often consist of plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and beans. All good stuff which, it seems, could also nourish the mind.
Make sure to socialize
WHO also states that social interactions can reduce dementia risk. Given that many elderly patients live isolated lives, this makes total sense. Without regular communication, there’s nothing to keep those brain connections firing. And, that can fast lead to issues. As such, the last step towards prevention may be to get out and talking with people. Of course, WHO do specify the need for ‘better social interactions,’ meaning that talking to shop workers isn’t quite enough. But, if more seniors attended social events and clubs, the future of dementia could fast start looking very different.