Identifying the Most Common Alzheimer’s Risk Factors

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Alzheimer’s is a concern for many seniors because it has many potential causes, which makes it difficult to prevent. However, identifying and understanding its major risk factors gives them a better chance of staving off the disease. Mississauga Alzheimer’s care experts discuss some common risk factors for Alzheimer’s and offer tips on what your aging loved one can do to reduce his or her risk.

Genetics

Family history is a strong risk factor for Alzheimer’s, and is something that cannot be altered. However, knowing the risks in terms of family can still be useful. If your loved one knows which family members have developed Alzheimer’s (and, most importantly, at what age they developed the disease) he or she can be more attuned to the potential warning signs. 

Poor Physical Health

Though heart disease may not necessarily cause Alzheimer’s, a diet and lifestyle that puts the heart at risk for cardiovascular complications may also predispose your loved one to developing Alzheimer’s. As of yet, no one is exactly sure of the connection between the two ailments, but the following conditions and habits have been shown to increase the likelihood of developing both heart disease and Alzheimer’s:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Not eating vegetables and fruit
  • Unmanaged type 2 diabetes

Essentially, cultivating habits that support general health may reduce your loved one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s. 

Mental Disengagement

There is general agreement in the scientific community that lifelong learning reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. However, being mentally disengaged may have the opposite effect. Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, but your loved one can preserve brain matter by actively engaging his or her mind on a daily basis. The following activities may help reduce your loved one’s risk: 

  • Doing logic puzzles
  • Reading frequently
  • Maintaining a curiosity about the world

Participating in brain-boosting activities can be a great help for seniors who want to reduce their Alzheimer’s risk. If your loved one needs help maintaining mental acuity, turn to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are trained in our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on CTM and the home care Mississauga, ON, seniors rely on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 to schedule a free in-home consultation.