Dementia is an umbrella term for a syndrome wherein the symptoms include the loss of cognitive functioning or when you have a decline in memory skills, which can greatly affect your daily activities and sometimes for other people, it even becomes too much to handle. Persons affected by this may experience memory loss, being forgetful, and blindness, while others report that their mood also suffers.
It’s not a joke to have dementia, which is common among senior citizens, but the National Institute on Aging points out that it is not to be considered as a normal part of aging as what most people commonly and mistakenly believe. There are a lot of people who live more than 90 and remain dementia-free, while there are middle-aged people who already suffer from it.
There are a lot of causes of this, like Alzheimer’s disease and a stroke. What’s worse is that doctors have yet to find a cure for this, only medicines to treat its symptoms. But the good news is that there are ways in which you can lower your risk of developing the syndrome which are generally easy to do even if you’re a millennial:
Don’t Share Drinks
This is generally just one of the rules of thumb in maintaining a healthy life – needless to say, sharing a drink with someone can put you at high risk of catching whatever disease the other person has. So for hygienic purposes, it is best that you stick with your own beverage to avoid contracting any sickness, and vice versa, you’ll be able to save the other person, too, if you are sick. Just always remember that saliva is always a great way to spread diseases—that’s why when it’s the flu season, you are advised to wear masks.
As a millennial, you’ve probably captioned your photo with the Latin aphorism Carpe Diem, which means to live the moment or make the most out of it at one point in your life. More than what you share on your Instagram, you should definitely practice seizing the moment in real life because trying out new things, getting out of your comfort zone, or even embarking on new challenges can stimulate your brain to maintain resilience, according to Kenneth Kosik and Alisa Bowman in their book “Outsmarting Alzheimer’s: What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk.”
Laugh More Often
Do you know the old adage that laughter is the best medicine? It turns out that this may be true: admit it, it’s an easier way to combat diseases than having to drink loads of meds. How is this? Experts say that finding something funny can keep the brain more active and therefore it helps in the maintenance of the brain’s cognitive function.
What’s more, laughing can actually lift up your mood, reduce blood pressure, and reduces stress and anxiety. This is even effective for people who already have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease: a study found that the patients in a nursing home that were visited by clowns once a week became less agitated.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
While others dismiss the wonders a good night’s sleep can bring, there are a lot of studies that say snoozing for the recommended hours has a lot of amazing effects on our health. However, you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to get more than 10 as it is not good for you as well. According to a research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, less than five hours or over 10 hours can put you at a higher risk of developing dementia. So never risk snoozing time especially if you have something to do the next day.
Learn to Play a Musical Instrument
If you’re looking for a reason to buy that ukulele you’ve been eyeing for the longest time, then know that learning to play an instrument can sharpen your brain. The process helps enhance a lot of cognitive functions like motor skills, auditory skills, attention, and even memory.
A study conducted by Emory University researchers on adults who are 70 years old and up found that those with a minimum of 10 years of musical experience performed better in nonverbal memory and naming than those who had little to no musical training at all.