Dementia is expected to impact three times as many people as it does now in 2050. The very thought of dementia is a scary prospect: a progressive problem that decreases memory and other cognitive abilities, sometimes extending to affect behavior and quality of living.

Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of different neurological issues. Despite monumental efforts from medical researchers and professionals, we still know relatively little about dementia. 

This week, we explore suggestions from the medical community on the best ways to prevent dementia.

Don’t Smoke

Cigarettes are immeasurably harmful. Many organizations have led successful campaigns against them for this very reason. However, medical professionals have expressed concerns about the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, vapes, and marijuana. Anytime that you are taking anything into your lungs has the potential to cause harm.

Smoking is not adding much to people’s lives, in reality dementia is yet another reason to not smoke.

Maintain Your Health

There are a few components to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. First is maintaining a healthy weight. What this weight may be is different for every person. Diet culture causes some people to try and lose weight constantly – which is not necessarily what is best for your body. If your doctor does not have concerns about your weight, maintaining your current weight is healthier than your weight fluctuating constantly. 

Along with maintaining a healthy weight, you should also be eating properly and exercising on a regular basis. 

Perhaps the biggest part of maintaining your health is handling any health issues that you know you have. Existing health issues that require regular monitoring include diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. 

To control these health issues, you should schedule regular appointments with your physician. Typically, these are annual checkups, but your doctor may want to see you more regularly. Additionally, you should follow all instructions provided by your physician. Adjust your diet, or exercise, and take any medicine that he or she prescribes.

Keep Your Brain Active

The most recommended way to combat dementia is to keep your brain as active as possible. Just like any of the other suggestions, it is not guaranteed, but it is the medical community’s best safeguard for now. 

Oftentimes older adults struggle to engage themselves on a regular basis. It is fairly common to hear retirees complain that they are bored. A good way to combat this stagnation is to pick up a hobby. Something as simple as doing the daily crossword puzzle in your local paper is a good start. Other games like sudoku and word searches are also helpful.

Social circles are another good way to stay engaged. Gatherings like book clubs, sewing circles, and community service organizations can be amazingly beneficial. Not only do they advance the hobbies that are so helpful to mental engagement, they also require communication and socialization. Engaging with other older adults helps maintain mental agility and helps improve memory.