Risk Factors for Age-related Dementia

The elderly people who have a high body mass index and suffer from poor heart health are at an increased risk of developing dementia. Proper diet, exercising, brain fitness exercises, and lifestyle changes can help to lower the risk of dementia in the elderly patient.

The Study Group

1,260 people from Finland took part in the study. Each person was between the ages of 60 and 77 and was thought to have a higher than average possibility of developing dementia as they grew older.

The Study

The study group was divided and half of them received regular health advice from their doctors. The other half were placed in an intervention group that met on a weekly basis.
For two years the intervention group, eat for training on how to eat healthy, the best types of physical exercise for the aging, brain training, and memory exercises, and how to manage metabolic and circulatory risk factors.

The Conclusion

The research showed that the individuals who participated in the regular sessions on lifestyle changing had scores on mental function tests that were twenty-five percent higher than the ones who only received advice from their family doctor.
The people who went through intensive lifestyle changing had mental processing speeds that were one hundred and fifty percent faster than the speeds of people who had not received the lifestyle changing classes.
The people in the lifestyle changing classes retained more of their ability to organize and regulate their thoughts. This group scored eighty-three percent higher on activities that required them to organize their thoughts before completing the activity.

What can medical professionals do?

Medical professionals who work with the aging can start to talk more to their patients about their diets, their exercise routines, their medications, their conditions, and their lives in general.
Medical professionals can establish training groups in their hometowns that will educate the elderly on proper nutrition, proper exercises, and on how to manage chronic diseases like heart conditions, COPD, Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and arthritis.

What can individuals do?

As you age you can start to ask your doctor about the conditions you suffer from. The better you understand your illnesses the better you will be at managing them and their symptoms.
You can seek out study groups that are designed to help elderly people learn new ways of eating, thinking, and exercising. Try to develop a support group of family and friends who can be encouraging and help you to stick with your lifestyle adjustments.

What can family and friends do?

Family and friends can provide support and encouragement to the aging, so they are better equipped to make the lifestyle changes they need. Encourage them to eat healthier foods by bringing them dishes that are prepared that they can try. Encourage them to go to lifestyle seminars and offer to go with them.