National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Today, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and the number is rapidly growing.
Since 1983—the year President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month—the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s has more than doubled. By the year 2050, the number of seniors aged 65 and older is projected to triple.
Although the risk for Alzheimer’s disease is higher than ever, making the decision to live a healthier lifestyle can help protect you. Here’s what you can do to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease:
Maintain a healthy diet. Eating nutrient and vitamin rich fruits and vegetables regularly helps to improve cognitive function and enhance memory. Try adding fresh produce of all shapes, sizes, and colors to your daily meals.
Exercise often. Regularly participating in easy to moderate exercise increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Gradually build your strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance with a doctor approved exercise regimen.
Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for brain function, memory retention, and emotional well-being. Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night will help to reduce stress, improve productivity and focus, and enhance your mood.
Stimulate your mind. Studies show having a healthy brain may play a large part in reducing one’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Learning a new skill or language, attending a class or workshop, playing an interesting card or board game, or working on a challenging puzzle can help to keep your brain’s connections stimulated and strong.
Get involved. Adults who regularly volunteer are more likely to stay socially engaged which helps preserve cognitive ability and gives seniors the option to enjoy an active and independent lifestyle. Look for opportunities in your community where you can share your skills, wisdom, and talent with others.
Because much of Alzheimer’s disease research is inconclusive, there is still plenty for us to learn about this disease. Currently, no cure exists for Alzheimer’s. However, some medications can help to slow the disease’s progress. With so many unanswered questions about Alzheimer’s disease, it is more important than ever to take preventative measures to protect ourselves.
The Jewish Home's Goldenberg•Ziman Special Care Center (G•Z) provides exceptional care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and support for their families. The Center is known for its award-winning design, pioneering practices and technologies, and compassionate care.
"As an industry leader in dementia care, G•Z works closely with residents, families, and staff to spread awareness of Alzheimer’s disease within the community," G•Z community manager Susan Leitch says. "The Home offers a variety of informative training sessions for staff and community seminars like the Sarnat Symposium. With these critical tools, we are able to do our part and spread awareness of Alzheimer's disease, all while helping to provide our residents and their families with the highest quality of life possible."
To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, visit www.alz.org.
To learn about the Home’s Goldenberg•Ziman Special Care Center for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care, please contact Susan Leitch, community manager, at Susan.Leitch@jha.org or (818) 774-3113 or visit our website.