21 September is observed globally as World Alzheimer’s Day to create awareness and help people to identify signs of dementia and support those living with it.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, make judgments, communicate, and carry out daily activities. In this disease, the brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia – a group of brain disorders that results in the loss of intellectual and social skills Alzheimer’s primarily affects older people generally, symptoms appear after the age of 65. These symptoms are not a normal part of aging.
Repeat statements and questions frequently, forget conversations, appointments, or events, regularly misplace things, and eventually forget the names of family members and objects of daily use.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, it is important to seek supportive services as early as possible and give extra care to our elderly loved ones.
• Help your loved ones maintain strong social connections and stay mentally active, which strengthens connections between nerve cells in the brain.
• Keep a calendar for them to help remember upcoming events, daily activities & schedules.
• Encourage them to participate in games and thinking activities, which may help slow mental decline in people with dementia.
• Limit caffeine during the day and minimize daytime napping. Along with regular daily exercise, this may help in better sleep.
There is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease but steps can be taken to reduce the risk. The six pillars to prevent Alzheimer’s are:
• Regular exercise •Quality sleep
• Healthy diet •Stress management
• Mental stimulation •Active social life
These six pillars will help the brain stay stronger and last longer. The more you strengthen each of the six pillars, the healthier the brain will be.