What are some things you can do now to help protect against memory loss/dementia?

Perspectives Open

Beth Arredondo

Beth C. Arredondo, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
Clinical Neuropsychologist
St. Tammany Health System | Ochsner Health
Good living is good for the brain. Building brain-healthy habits in young adulthood or middle age prolongs cognitive functioning and independence long into older adulthood. Physical exercise is vitally important. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise (e.g., quick walking, cutting the grass, heavy cleaning) per week, but any movement is better than none. Eating a heart-healthy diet also improves brain health. Choose green leafy vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats, with sweets as an occasional treat. Staying cognitively active promotes brain health and can be accomplished just as well by participating in hobbies, learning new skills and engaging in fun activities such as following a particular brain exercise program. Keep up with family, friends and social engagements in person or virtually to keep your brain active. Finally, maintain these healthy habits by following a regular sleep schedule and managing stress with relaxation training or mindfulness meditation.

 

Mark Francis

Mark Francis
Customer Experience
Schonberg Care
At Louisiana’s largest family-owned, independent, assisted living and memory care provider, each memory care engagement is based on strategic and personal commitment to the individual. For example, we might do one round of trivia with several different outcomes based on the individual or audience, or we might play bingo five different ways for five different people. We also work to ensure that every resident is mentally stimulated with activities like lectures, educational offerings, computer assistance and Zoom. technology.

 

Scott Lovitt

Mark Francis
Customer Experience
Schonberg Care
At Louisiana’s largest family-owned, independent, assisted living and memory care provider, each memory care engagement is based on strategic and personal commitment to the individual. For example, we might do one round of trivia with several different outcomes based on the individual or audience, or we might play bingo five different ways for five different people. We also work to ensure that every resident is mentally stimulated with activities like lectures, educational offerings, computer assistance and Zoom. technology.

 

Rebecca Jeffries

Rebecca Jeffries
Executive Director
The Blake at Colonial Club
First, practice moderation in all things. Excessive alcohol use and obesity are major risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline. Second and third, exercising your body and your brain. Just as our brains benefit from educational exercise, they benefit from physical exercise. Studies show that active individuals are less likely to experience dementia. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is to learn to enjoy every moment. Fearing dementia will not lessen your likelihood of getting it.

 

Amanda Gisclair

Amanda Gisclair
Sales Director
Inspired Living of Kenner
Along with physical activity and a well-balanced diet, I’d advise to stay mentally active and socially engaged. The old saying, “use it or lose it” applies to memory and cognitive function. Working, volunteering, reading, puzzles and learning new skills are great ways to keep your brain healthy and active. Getting enough rest also reduces stress levels that have shown to contribute to dementia and memory loss. Finally, make sure to manage any chronic conditions and follow up with your primary doctor regularly.