Dementia is not a cause on its own but rather an effect of an injury that resulted in mental impairment or rather cognitive disability such as memory loss, depression, loss of focus etc.
There is a lot of speculation surrounding Dementia and hence a fearful sense of loss accompanied with it. Here are a few myths you should debunk:-
- Elderly people showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s are not able to communicate properly, and that they lack a sense of what is going on about them. This is false because the brain’s multi-functional ability allows it to carry-on with its activities even if one area is affected.
- Research shows that only 5 % of those 65 and older suffer from dementia. Contrary to popular opinion that dementia is a part of the aging process.
- The notion that nothing can be done for a loved one diagnosed with dementia is also quite false.
- People in their thirties can suffer dementia too! This is a result of brain injuries, substance abuse, strokes, or brain infections.
Alzheimer’s being the most common type of dementia has almost been canonized as an inevitable unpleasantry awaiting one in their 60s and above. It seems almost inescapable but there is hope even if there is no cure due to the progressive nature of dementia.
A lot of mental activity could inhibit the likelihood of your loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s. It is called the ‘use it or lose it’ technique and it incorporates:-
- The cultivation or continuation of a reading culture
- Card games and other games such as monopoly or scrabble to joust the faculties within
- Solving crossword puzzles. Newspapers should provide enough of these.
- Watching television and even listening to the radio
- Activity such as gardening could help as well
The objective is to keep the brain active to prevent deterioration. Social activity is highly encouraged as a relational and interactive way of regularly putting the brain to work.
Prevention of Dementia
The Ashby Memory Method could serve as a preventive measure when the expected age draws near. Just as a vaccine cannot cure an illness, it can just stop it, this programme will keep dementia in all its forms at bay.
Other methods include:
- Not smoking
- Eat foods rich in Omega-3 oils, fish and cut back on red meat and dairy products
- Maintaining healthy weight and exercising a lot
- Manage health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes to ward off heart attacks and strokes.
- Remain mentally astute through puzzles and crosswords
- Social engagements ought to keep on coming
- Playing instruments or even listening to music could serve as prevention therapy. Music is proven to be an emotional equaliser.
The fatality of Dementia and Alzheimer’s have been blown out of proportion too often. Whereas the above methods may not guarantee a loved one’s mental security, they improve the chances of not falling sick. It is important to remember that not all elderly people are subjected to them and neither are they death sentences.