June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
One month a year we recognize Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, which allows us the opportunity to raise awareness and maintain the global conversation about the importance of brain health.
During this month, you’re encouraged to spend time advocating for the end to Alzheimer’s. You can do so by donating to organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association and researching the ways this disease impacts the lives of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their families. By raising awareness, we are able to recognize the importance of brain health and find ways to keep our brains healthy and active, as well as, support those living with this disease.
In recognition of this cause, we also encourage you to take part in supporting our own brain health and cognitive function by learning more about Alzheimer’s and dementia, plus exploring the following brain health tips for seniors.
What is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
Dementia is a general term for symptoms that point to a decline in cognitive function caused by damage to brain cells that affects communication. Symptoms include a decline in memory, reasoning and other thinking skills, which can influence thoughts, behavior and feelings. There are many types of dementia and many diseases that cause it.
Alzheimer’s is a specific degenerative brain disease that accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases. Symptoms can advance to become severe, such as disorientation, behavioral changes or even difficulty speaking and swallowing. There is no cure and no way to prevent Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association lists the 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s or other dementia as the following:
- Memory loss that is beginning to affect daily life, from asking the same questions repeatedly to forgetting dates or events. The is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
- While making an occasional error is not unusual, people living with dementia will notice a change in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work through problems.
- Everyday tasks can become too burdensome. Even activities of daily living, such as bathing and getting dressed, become increasingly difficult.
- People living with Alzheimer’s may forget where they are, how they got there or how much time has passed. Losing track of dates and seasons is also possible.
- Alzheimer’s and other dementias can even impact your vision, which can lead to difficulty with balance or trouble judging distance. This is especially worrisome when it comes to driving.
- Due to difficulty organizing thoughts and thinking logically, reading and writing may not come as easily to those living with dementia.
- We all misplace things every once in a while, but an increase in losing belongings can be an early sign of cognitive decline. This is especially true if items are left in usual places or a person is unable to retrace steps to find them.
- Changes in judgement or decision making can lead to poor judgement, such as paying less attention to personal hygiene, or impulsive behaviors, such as using vulgar language at inappropriate times.
- A person living with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty connecting to others. Family and friends may notice isolating behaviors or an inability to hold a conversation.
- Changes in mood and personality are common and can result in restlessness, agitation, anxiety, tearfulness and fearfulness.
Brain Health Tips
Participate in Healthy Brain Activities: From reading and crossword puzzles to cooking a new recipe, you’re able to find an activity you love that also contributes to a healthy mind. Studies have found that these kinds of activities help to stimulate nerve cells and may even help the brain generate new cells.
Connect with Others: Connecting with your community is beneficial to your health in so many ways, including increasing mental stimulation. In fact, studies show that positive relationships can help protect against memory loss.
Eat Foods for Your Brain Health: Our brain functions best when we choose a balanced diet, resulting in positive effects, such as proper brain development, improved memory and protection from brain damage.
Springpoint Offers a Healthy Senior Living Lifestyle
At Springpoint, we focus on helping you live the happiest, healthiest life you possibly can – and that includes ensuring a healthy mind. Along with offering onsite healthcare services and raising awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementia conditions at each of our eight Life Plan communities, we encourage you to take part in supporting your own brain health and cognitive function though numerous onsite amenities and activities. This includes healthy dining options, engaging continuing education opportunities and social events where neighbors become close friends.
Contact us today to learn more.