Dementia in most cases is difficult to prevent as the underlying causes are often not known. Some measures which may help to prevent dementia include:
Control your risk factors: People with vascular dementia may be able to prevent further decline of their mental functions by lowering their risk of stroke, with measure of controlling blood pressure and keeping blood sugar in target range. If you have blood pressure or diabetes, taking medications as recommended is important.
Live healthy: Adopting healthy lifestyle such as by losing excess weight, exercising, limiting alcohol, cutting back on salt, quitting smoking, and eating a low-fat and low-saturated-fat diet definitely has benefits for people at risk of heart disease and stroke. Both these increase the risk of vascular dementia. All these lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by controlling blood pressure, lowering blood cholesterol. These measures may be helpful even in people who are not at risk of heart disease and stroke as it has overall health benefits.
[Read: Treatment Options for Dementia]
Maintain healthy body weight: Being at healthy body weight reduces the risk of diabetes, another risk factor for dementia.
Remain physically active: Being physically active, such as doing any moderate exercise for 20-30 minutes on most days of a week, may possibly decrease the risk of dementia in adults. Any type of moderate activity is good but before starting any exercise program consult your doctor.
Stay mentally active: Elderly who stay mentally active by doing activities such as reading newspapers, books, and magazines, playing cards and other games, working crossword puzzles are possibly at lower risk of developing dementia. Being socially active (such as attending community activities, church, or support groups), watching television or listening to the radio may possibly reduce your chances of developing dementia.
Know your medications: Some elderly develop symptoms suggestive of dementia which are actually the result of taking medicines that don't work well together. This complication can be avoided by discussing about all medicines-both prescription and over-the-counter, and all vitamin, herbal, and dietary supplements with your doctor.
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