Many people worry about their memory getting worse as they get older. The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to promote your brain health, at any age. It’s never too late to start.
We now know from research that it is possible to:
- Lower the risk of developing dementia
- Support the brain to work as well as possible if you are living with dementia
Ozcare’s Dementia Advisory and Support Service (DASS) operates throughout Queensland, with a team of over 15 dementia advisors working from the Gold Coast to Far North Queensland. Last year, we provided assistance to 1,807 people living with dementia and their families, as well as a number of health providers to further develop knowledge and skills in dementia care.
In honour of Dementia Action Week, DASS have suggested five tips for Brain Health.
1) Do some regular exercise
- Regular aerobic or ‘cardio’ exercise is important – this is exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing rate.
- Spend time building up muscle strength.
- Practice keeping your balance too, to prevent falls.
2) Keep active mentally
- Try something new, like taking up a hobby or learning a new skill. The key is to keep challenging your brain regularly by learning new things – whatever that might be for you.
- Get medical help if you are having problems with hearing, depression or sleeping – these will all affect your ability to think clearly.
3) Stay socially connected
- Link up with others regularly, face-to-face, by telephone and online.
- Try to keep up with old friends and make some new ones too.
- Consider volunteering or travelling to stay connected with others and expand your network.
4) Eat a healthy diet
- Eat a range of fruit and vegetables.
- Drink lots of water.
- Limit eating foods that contain saturated fat, added salt and added sugar.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol.
5) Look after your heart health
- Keep up with regular checks: for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels and weight.
- Don’t smoke.
- Do talk to your Dementia Advisor about how you can put this advice into practice in your day-to-day living. Each person is different and it’s important to come up with a strategy for healthy living that works for you.
- Do consult with your GP before starting out on an exercise program.
- It is not possible to prevent or cure dementia, but a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of developing most types of dementia.