June Is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month!

ourseniors.net-June Is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month!

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a global initiative aimed at raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and promoting brain health. It’s also a month that you should attempt to become involved with if you know anyone with the disease or if you want to promote better health for seniors or anyone with a family history that might raise their concern for anything like this condition. As our aging population grows, the impact of Alzheimer’s becomes increasingly prevalent and June is meant to direct the attention of the public to this.

We’re going to explore the significance of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, its objectives, and the importance of empowering seniors with knowledge about this debilitating condition because everything starts with concern and is helped with the right type of support.

Do You Actually Understand Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Basically, the disease involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. It is the most common form of dementia that unfortunately accounts for 60%-80% of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is characterized by the accumulation of abnormal proteins (beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles) in the brain, which leads to the death of brain cells and the disruption of neural pathways. Over time, this leads to the loss of cognitive abilities, memory impairment, and changes in behavior and personality as we’ve mentioned.

Old age is not what causes the disease. However, it is the most known risk factor for it. The disease primarily affects individuals aged 65 and older, although early-onset Alzheimer’s can occur in individuals as young as their 30s or 40s and this is one of the reasons that making healthy lifestyle choices is so important. It’s also vital to understand that after the age of 65, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every 5 years after that age. Currently, at least 6.7 million people 65 or older are living with Alzheimer’s and that is what the month of June is meant to shine light on.

Yes, There Are Ways to Promote Brain Health

While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, research suggests that certain lifestyle choices can help promote brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. There are also treatments available that may change disease progression as well as both drug and non-drug options with the potential to help with treating symptoms. Something for seniors to keep in mind is that you don’t have to have a direct concern or a family history of Alzheimer’s to participate in these measures. Healthy eating and other forms of positive health and wellness can benefit anyone of any age. 

As we go further into the month of June, if you haven’t already, it might be the time to learn some new habits. You never know, one simple change could enhance the life of a senior or anyone that’s close to you. Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month highlights the following strategies for maintaining a healthy brain:

Physical Exercise Is Important for Seniors

Regular physical exercise has been linked to a reduced risk of dementia and even different types of cancer. You can also use regular physical activity as a way to combat depression and anxiety or as a way to boost your heart and brain health. Simple activities like walking, swimming, and biking help improve blood flow to the brain, promoting neuronal health and they are perfect activities for Florida seniors to get into.

Mental Stimulation Is Just As Important 

Engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, puzzles, learning new skills, and socializing, can help keep the brain active and delay cognitive decline. These things are also important for seniors and can be a good way to interact with others and get a good amount of social time in. 

You can do more for your mental stimulation by reading a bit every day, getting into playing bingo or bridge, or even taking to VR games periodically. Something that seniors may also enjoy is joining a gardening club, a choir, or even a bowling team. You’d be surprised how good you feel with a bit of mental strengthening.

A Healthy Diet Is Essential

You may have heard this before but food is fuel. Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial for brain health. Food is something that your body needs for enhanced memory and focus and yes, it does affect your mood as well. 

Something good that seniors should be practicing, or anyone of any age is avoiding excessive intake of saturated fats, refined sugars, and processed foods. Instead, get into buying food that gives you brain-power the next time you visit a Florida farmers or fish market like fresh blueberries, pumpkin seeds, fatty fish, or broccoli. 

Quality Sleep Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Prioritizing good sleep habits is crucial for brain health. Aim for 7-8 hours of adequate sleep each night, as sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline as well. Sleep is directly related to the health of different brain functions. One of those functions is how your nerve cells are actually communicating with each other. 

It may seem obvious but quality sleep is overlooked a lot of the time as a significant player in your wellness but getting good rest can actually help the brain to flush out toxins that it builds up during the day and that should never be ignored.

Social Engagement Is a Good Thing For Seniors

Staying socially active and maintaining strong connections with friends, family, and the community has been associated with better cognitive function and a reduced risk of dementia. Not to mention that the more social interaction you have, the more of an enhanced mood you might notice. You should also now know that getting quality sleep can make a significant difference in your overall health and social engagement, believe it or not, may even help with achieving better sleep.

How Will You Show Your Support?

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month serves as a powerful reminder to seniors and their loved ones of the importance of brain health. By raising awareness, providing education, and promoting healthy lifestyle choices, this month-long campaign should empower seniors to take control of their mental wellness and make informed decisions. Supporting Alzheimer’s research can be done easily within your community by donating to an Alzheimer’s organization or volunteering your time for a recognition event. You can also wear purple since purple is the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement. Specifically, the Alzheimer’s Association wants to encourage you to wear this color of recognition throughout the month of June to show your support. 

Things like caregiver support, helping where you’re needed, and creating a society that embraces and supports those affected by Alzheimer’s and other brain-related conditions are the first steps to doing your part and any part that you can fulfill in this cause will make a difference.