Can I Prevent Dementia?

Getting older comes with many different perks and wonderful life experiences, but the possibility of losing your memory is certainly not one of them. It can be scary to think about forgetting your loved ones and your precious memories of a life well-lived.

Unfortunately, dementia is a really common condition that affects more than 55 million people worldwide. While you can’t control your genetics, there are things that you can do to help reduce your risk of the disease.

Our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team explains more about dementia and how it affects your memory, so read on to learn more.

How Does Dementia Affect Your Memory?

Dementia is the term that encompasses many different kinds of memory conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is actually the most common form of dementia and is responsible for up to 80% of all known cases.

Dementia causes irreversible damage to brain cells. It effectively destroys the connections in the brain that are responsible for recalling memories or information on how to perform basic tasks. Once those connections are gone, that memory disappears along with it. Dementia is progressive, meaning that once you have it, it will only get worse as you age.

Common Symptoms of Emerging Dementia

  • Misplacing items frequently
  • Deepening confusion of events and people
  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Difficulty speaking, walking or swallowing

Can Dementia Be Avoided?

Since dementia has a genetic factor, it cannot be avoided completely. However, supporting a healthy brain throughout your life can help you ward off the condition for as long as possible! Regular exercise, a healthy diet and quality sleep all work together to provide your brain with what it needs to stay healthy.

You should also do what you can to keep your brain sharp by engaging in brain games like word finds, crossword puzzles or card games. Your favorite hobbies and reading can also help you! Challenging your brain to think differently or get creative helps boost your neural connections and can help you retain your memories for a longer period of time.

Risk Factors for Dementia

  • Lack of physical activity
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking and excessive alcohol use

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be incredibly isolating. Come to AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah to meet with our care team.