It’s never too late to make lifestyle changes to promote brain health.
“What is good for your heart is good for your brain,” said Laurie Myres, regional education and support coordinator for the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. for Summerland and the South Okanagan and Similkameen.
Better control and detection for hypertension and diabetes, as well as measures to encourage smoking cessation and to reduce cardiovascular risk, have the potential to reduce the risk of dementia.
At present, 747,000 Canadians are affected by the brain disorder.
That number is forecast to double within the next 25 years.
“While there is no clear-cut way to prevent dementia, you can take steps to lower the chances of developing the disease,” Myres said.
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and depression can increase the risk.
“Healthy lifestyle choices are good for your heart, as well as your brain,”she adds.
People should choose a diet low in fat, incorporate exercise into daily routines, challenge their brains, be socially active, and protect their heads.
Another important step is talking to your doctor about your personal risk or other concerns about dementia.
“There is a difference between normal aging and dementia,” Myers said
The society is offering a variety of programs and services for residents.
A support and information group serves as a forum for sharing practical tips and strategies for coping with the disease.
It helps create support and friendship with others whose lives are affected by dementia.
“The group is there for people who want to inform themselves with current information that will help improve quality of life with the disease. It’s a safe environment where you can learn, laugh, and help each other through mutual understanding.”
For more information on the Summerland group contact Myres at 250-493-8182 (toll-free 1-888-318-1122) or firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.alzheimerbc.org.