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Do All Aging Adults Get Dementia at Some Point?

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According to Alzheimer’s Society Canada, an estimated 564,000 older adults in Canada live with some form of dementia. This number can be expected to nearly double by the year 2031. There are many factors involved that may raise the risk of developing cognitive decline or dementia. Not all seniors are guaranteed to develop dementia, but here are a few factors that may increase the risk.

Age

Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean your elderly loved one will develop dementia. There are many older adults who remain mentally fit throughout their lives. However, age can be a factor in dementia development. Approximately 14 percent of older adults between the ages of 65 and 70 have an increased risk of developing dementia. The risk rises to 25 percent for seniors aged 85 and older.

Dementia is one of the most common diseases in aging adults. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Winnipeg elderly home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

Genetics

The development of various types of dementia can be a combination of environment and genetics. If your loved one has a family history of cognitive decline, the risk of developing dementia may increase. However, having a family gene doesn’t necessarily mean dementia will develop.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

Older adults living with diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension who are also overweight have an increased chance of developing dementia. The physical maladies may have a direct effect on the cardiovascular system, which must remain healthy for normal brain function. Smoking also increases the risk of dementia, as tobacco contains nicotine and other chemicals known to constrict blood vessels, which raises blood pressure and heart rate. Regularly consuming high amounts of alcohol daily also puts seniors at risk. Alcohol is known to have harmful effects on brain cells.

Head Injuries

Head injuries commonly alter blood circulation in the brain and cause inflammation and swelling, which damages neurons. Even after the head injury heals over time, permanent effects may remain. Traumatic brain injury may lead to vascular dementia, which irreversibly interferes with normal blood flow. Some stroke survivors develop dementia for this reason. When cycling or engaged in certain sports, older adults should wear protective helmets. 

Engaging in physical activities can boost muscle flexibility as well as mental wellbeing, which may lower the risk of dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Winnipeg seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Depression

The post-mortem evaluation of subjects who had been diagnosed with depression exhibited an increased number of plaques and neuron tangles in the hippocampus region of the brain. The finding leads some researchers to believe there’s a correlation between depression and dementia development. The pathological abnormalities were thought to be caused by cortisol levels that increased due to anxiety and stress. Another theory speculates chronic depression might be an early form of cognitive impairment. Aging adults living with depression can reduce their risk of developing dementia by seeking treatment.

Reducing the Risk

Older adults should choose healthy foods daily for the body to have a sufficient amount of energy to function and the nutrients necessary for cellular repairs. Daily meals should largely consist of vegetables and fruits in addition to lean meats, nuts, and whole grains.

Routinely engaging in moderately strenuous exercise and at least weekly strength-training exercise can be healthy for the cardiovascular system and the body. Staying physically fit ensures the brain receives the nutrient-rich blood needed to function at an optimal level.

When it comes to dementia care, seniors might need help accomplishing daily tasks and staying healthy at home. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Winnipeg, MB, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. Give us a call at (204) 489 6000 to speak with one of our friendly Care Managers about our high-quality in-home care services.