Family · Life changes · Psychology · Spirituality

Learning is the First step to Awareness

Hi, welcome to our time of tea & reflection dear friend! Today we’re reflecting upon a very important topic which is relevant to all!

Did you know that Dementia is the most concerning disease of our time?

So much so, that researchers around the world are joining forces to try & alleviate the risk of the future development of this growing disease that has no known cure!

First let’s get comfortable with our cuppa’s, I have combined two tea blends today a Japanese Apple tea with a Lady Grey tea, accompanied by a GF Double Choc Brownie with candied citrus peel & walnuts. What’s yours?

Again, it’s cold here today but the Sun is shining & we have found a sheltered sunny spot under our big beautiful Jacaranda tree.

Now we are enjoying our beautiful sunny spot with our cuppa’s & treats, shall we begin our reflection together…

white head bust in museum

A little background for you, I have always had a professional interest in Dementia & how this condition develops & irreversibly affects the patient’s quality of life, as well as, the devastating impact upon their families.

I like to keep up to date with the latest research findings & best practice therapies for this disease…

The longitudinal research has found that the earlier in life we start the following lifestyle inclusions the better the outcome.

However starting these lifestyle inclusions at any age showed a huge improvement in quality of life & considerably lowered the risk for Dementia.

Did you know there are several types of Dementia not just the commonly known one of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Though today my emphasis will be on the preventative measures. Research has found that;

What is good for heart is good for brain…

Take care of your heart with all diligence for it is the wellspring of life!” Proverbs 4:23

At least 150 minutes of physical activity per week is the ideal target, this can incorporate walking, house chores, gardening or the more active aerobic exercise (for those fitter ones out there).

Any activity that gets our hearts pumping faster is good! Please check with your physician if you have heart problems before increasing your physical activity.

  • This can be done in the following increments of time each week… 7 days ÷ 150 minutes p/w = approximately 22 minutes per day of activity that gets your heart rate up!

Healthy Diet plays a large part too, so a well balanced diet similar to the Mediterranean diet is recommended! Fresh fruit & vegetables, grains, nuts, olive oil, dairy & lean meats.  Which makes sense as this is also great for our cardiovascular health.

Moderation of alcohol consumption…only 1 glass of wine per day is recommended. No catching up on weekends, no binge drinking. All alcoholic beverages impact neurological functionality & brain health!

Quality Sleep, is one of the important factors in this preventative prescription. Quality restorative sleep of at least 6 – 8 hours per night gives the brain time to clean the days accumulated plaque away & to organize it’s memory files.

Social & leisure health is also a part of the Preventing Dementia prescription… Those who have an active face to face social group that they can enjoy regularly, we’re seen to create healthy neurological chemicals & pathways.

Isolating oneself is unhealthy for social, mental, neurological & spiritual wellness.

Learning new things & educating ourselves throughout our life…Challenging our brains consistently & constantly creates new neural pathways that help build a Cognitive Reserve for healthier brain function & an investment for our quality of life in the future. This can be learning a new language, a new skill, doing puzzles, reading, going to museums or studying etc…

Keep Mentally healthy is also very important, making room for good mental health practices is essential. Getting professional help & treatment when needed. Making time for restorative activities.

The research found unaddressed or untreated Depression is one of the higher risk factors for Dementia (please note: not everyone who has Depression will get Dementia but rather the risk increases markedly if left untreated).

There was also good news for those of us who have chronic health conditions that cause Brain Malaise aka brain fog or fibro fog, research found there is no demonstrated higher risk between Brain Fog & Alzheimer’s (ref)! Yay!

So to personalize this, I am slowly building my physical activity to the target of 150 minutes per week, which seemed an absolute impossible task at first with having Fibromyalgia but I am already up to 75 minutes now! Slowly increasing the time over the past few weeks by walking.

I invite dear hubby out for a walk each time I go

So he is getting his physical activity increased too & I have noticed we talk about things that interest us more while we walk!

While we have always mostly followed a well balanced diet, similar to the Mediterranean one. I have cut back (though still have a small treat each day) on my sugary treats with my cuppa’s replacing most with fruit or nuts instead.

As you can see above I enjoy research, I find writing for this blog constantly challenging for building my Cognitive Reserve. I also enjoy reading & word puzzles.

I do try & socialize with friends & family as able. Over the past year, when possible, I have enjoyed a lovely morning tea & prayer with a little group of ladies from our village church.

And if you visit here often you already know I enjoy journaling, reflection & taking time to smell the roses.

The biggest challenge on the prescription for me is quality of sleep! As having Fibromyalgia, quantity & quality of sleep is often allusive. Though I had already began the following Sleep strategies…  to help this…which has improved it for the moment.

What could you do to improve your lifestyle from the preventing Dementia prescription?

Until next time,


You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook

Or in Prayer

© 2019 Jennifer M. Ross, All Rights Reserved. Photos on

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42 thoughts on “Learning is the First step to Awareness

    1. Thank you Donna. I ‘m saddened to hear of your losses. It’s such a devastating disease.

      You may be interested in the courses I did for Continuing Professional Development at the University of Tasmania (they’re free courses, available online to anyone in the world) at

      They are one of the leading Dementia research facilities/University’s in the world & are continually updating their findings & best practice in their courses each year. 😊


    1. You’re most welcome Marielle!
      Though I’m saddened to hear that your family is going through this with your dear loved one.
      The free courses are most informative & well worth doing. Bless you…


  1. My husband’s paternal grandmother just died with Dementia, and his maternal grandmother died with advanced Alzheimer’s. Both my mother and my mother-in-law are showing signs of memory loss. So I’ve been eating walnuts, doing brain games every day, learning, and trying to remember to exercise at least 3x a week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you broke that timeframe down into doable increments, Jennifer. I kind of felt overwhelmed when I saw that 150 hours/week! I sure want to protect myself from dementia, but don’t already exercise that much. Maybe I need to think smaller allotments more often! Thanks for this very informative and helpful post, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sharing your excellent pointers and checking off my list… doing my best to follow this heart-healthy ‘prescription’, Jennifer. The Proverbs reference is perfect on every level. ❤ Blessings and love, my friend. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I appreciate the update and your love of research in this area. I have friends whose parents suffer from dementia and/or Alzheimer’s so staying on top of a healthy lifestyle is important to me. I need to increase my physical activity. Summer is always easier for me because I love to walk outside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad this information is important to you Mary, yes it’s more difficult in the cold & rain to go walking. Which we have at the moment, I do my stretching exercises inside on those days 😉


  5. Excellent information here. My husband and I have been working more diligently on the diet step in this process. I’ve also taken a step toward moving more. With fibromyalgia and RA, it’s hard to do but little steps are a good start. Thanks.

    My blog has a section about fibromyalgia called Letters to Friends. I pose questions people ask and then I or another fibro warrior writes a letter answering the question. Maybe you would like to answer a question concerning fibro fog and dementia. (It’s nice to know that our possibilities of dementia do not increase because of fibro fog. But either way, we need to do what we can to improve the fog.

    Let me know if you would like to guest write. You can check out my Letters to Friends at

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Step by step, little by little is great Mandy! Yes it is comforting to know fibro fog isn’t connected to dementia or increases our risk for dementia.
      Lovely to have you drop by… 😀
      Thank you for the invitation I feel truly privileged…I’ll reply directly 😀


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