I don’t know about you but I had not given a nanosecond’s thought to dementia – in fact, I wasn’t even certain what dementia was, exactly. Something to do with being demented or crazy, maybe …..
So I wasn’t exactly ready for being told that some of the odd things my mother was doing were actually the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease, a kind of dementia.
Like she was thinking it was night time and putting herself to bed in the afternoon. Or forgetting that she had just had lunch and wondering when lunch would be ready …. that sort of thing. What’s really scary, though, is that I’ve caught myself out being a bit forgetful as well and I’m just a baby-boomer. So, being anxious to make sure that I wasn’t on a fast-track to dementia, myself, I’ve done some research.
I was very relieved to find a report In ‘Critical Care Nurse”, 2004:24, which told me about four main ways you can delay, or even better, avoid dementia altogether.
These were written up for critical care nurses – but I believe they are very important for you to know, too.
All of the following were seen to be of of vital importance to avoid or delay dementia:
1. Establishing and maintaining a BMI within the healthy range (19 to 25) – this is Body Mass Index and you can calculate it. A weight loss program was recommended for anyone with BMIs at both the obese (>30) and overweight (>25) levels.
2. Reducing elevated cholesterol and blood pressure levels to normal ranges
3. Regular and frequent eating of green, leafy and cruciferous vegetables known to be associated with decreased incidence of dementia
4. Regular and frequent participation in activities that are socially, intellectually, and physically engaging
So, Fellow Boomers:
- when it comes to eating vegetables, green it;
- when it comes to participating in activities, move it; and
- when it comes to carrying excess body weight, lose it.