Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh Fall/Winter Edition 2015-16 - page 16

in determining whether or not someone will develop
dementia. While no one can control these things, there are
preventative measures that anyone, at any age, can take
to help reduce the risk of developing dementia.
• Get regular exercise.
Approximately 30 minutes
of aerobic exercise, five times a week is a good
goal. Add strength-training exercises into the
routine to stay even healthier.
• Eat healthy.
Studies suggest that consuming
plenty of omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent
certain forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s
disease. Foods that contain high quantities include
salmon, tuna and trout.
• Stop smoking.
Smoking is one of the most
preventable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. In
fact, if you are over 65, smoking increases the odds
of getting Alzheimer’s disease by nearly 79 percent.
• Stay mentally engaged.
Puzzles, riddles and
games are not only fun—they may help prevent
dementia. Challenge yourself to do new things,
too, such as learn another language or memorize
world capitals.
• Get enough sleep.
For most seniors, that means
about eight hours each night.
• Stay socially connected.
Talk on the phone or in
person with family and friends. Get out and meet
new neighbors. Take classes and stay engaged.
• Protect your head.
There appears to be a
strong link between head trauma and dementia.
Therefore, fall-proof your home and install
handrails and grab bars in places where falls are
likely to occur. Practice balancing exercises, too,
so you are less likely to fall. Finally, always wear
your seat belt when in a vehicle and wear a helmet
when biking or participating in other sports.
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