By Kat O’Connor
As we grow old, the body begins to slow down and so does the mind. A lot of people experience memory loss when they reach the golden years. It’s completely normal to experience this because our memory function starts to decline after years of hard work. Our minds have spent years storing childhood memories, facts about Irish history, stories about family trips to the beach and even blueberry cupcake recipes, so it’s natural that it becomes tired.
The rate of people suffering from Alzheimer’s in Ireland is constantly on the rise. It is estimated that by the year 2021, there will be over 67,000 people suffering from dementia in Ireland. However, researchers are working strenuously to find a cure for this disease. They have discovered numerous ways to prevent and to delay the symptoms of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Researchers believe that there are six main ways to prevent and delay these diseases. Exercising, having a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, managing your stress levels, having a stable social life and taking care of your mental health are the six ways you can avoid diseases of the mind.
One of the main ways to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia is to take care of your mind. The mind is one of the most powerful parts of the body, even though we can’t physically see it. It needs to be taken care of just as much as the body does. If you maintain a strong and active mind you can tackle memory loss and avoid Alzheimer’s and dementia. There are a variety of different ways to keep the mind in a healthy state and they are all easy to do.
Reading is one of the best ways to take good care of your mind. Studies suggest that reading keeps the mind stimulated regardless of your age. You can read anything from a gardening magazine to Cecelia Ahern’s latest novel and it will help maintain the brain’s health. Studies found that the decline of people’s mental state was decreased by 32 per cent due to constant mental stimulation, even in their later years.
Another great way to keep the brain in a healthy state is to take part in meditation and mindfulness. Both meditation and mindfulness have been used to tackle a number of health problems including depression, anxiety and Alzheimer’s. A study done by Neuroscience Letters states that a fifteen minute meditation session can massively reduce mild cognitive impairment. Doctors also suggest walking, tai chi and yoga for those that are looking for different methods of meditation.
One of the most popular methods in preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia is to challenge the mind with puzzles, games and by learning. By keeping the mind active you’re preventing the brain from becoming slow and weak. Card games, studying a language and Sudoku are amongst some of the best methods that keep the mind stimulated.
Although Alzheimer’s affects over 24 million people worldwide, there are new ways to prevent and delay it emerging now more than ever before.