From the World Health Organization (as of 09/19/2019):
* Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities.
* Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not a normal part of aging.
* Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. (compare with 4 million COVID-19 cases so far)
* Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases.
* Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.
* Dementia has a physical, psychological, social, and economic impact, not only on people with dementia, but also on their carers, families and society at large.
We hear so little about this syndrome, yet I can think of nothing more devastating to families (the victims and their caretakers) than dementia/ Alzheimer disease.
When I started this investigation I honestly didn’t know if there was anything we could do to protect ourselves against this devastating disease. Most of the medical community will tell you there is no pill or surgery that can correct this. Therefore, it is incurable.
But research shows that practicing heart-healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising, eating a Mediterranean diet, avoiding stress, not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, and managing conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis, can help and even reverse dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease).
Victoria and I are now quite confident that we are doing everything we can to be dementia proof, by rigorously practicing a heart-healthy/ brain-healthy program. Beyond maintaining our health with diet, exercise and 8 hours of sleep daily, we tend to our emotional well being by sharing daily gratitudes at dinner and looking for good all around us.
Don’t wait until you show symptoms to start taking better care of your brain. Symptoms may not show up until your 60’s or 70’s but when you do show symptoms, reversing the disease can be more difficult.
Take care of your hearing. Even a small amount of hearing loss taxes your brain and could open the door to dementia later in life.
I do hope you’ll take a serious look at dementia-proofing yourself and your loved ones. Let me know your plan of action.