She sat staring out the window…

Nothing looked familiar to her…her fear & confusion were palpable…

Welcome to our time of tea & reflection dear friend!

Today we are reflecting upon a very important topic that is relevant to us whatever age we are!

First let’s get comfy with our cuppa’s.

I have combined two coffee blends today a Caramel freezed dried coffee with a Brazilian coffee, accompanied by a slice of homemade date loaf both are absolutely delicious!

This week is Dementia Awareness Week.

Did you know that Dementia is the most concerning disease of our time apart from the current pandemic…

So much so, that researchers from around the world have joined forces to alleviate it.

Now we are enjoying our cuppa’s & treats, let’s begin our reflection together…

A little background for you

I have always had a professional interest in Dementia.

Especially in how this condition develops & irreversibly affects the patient’s quality of life, as well as, the devastating impact upon their families.

So, I like to keep updated with the latest research findings & proven best practice therapies for this disease.

A few years ago I did the following courses on Understanding Dementia & Preventing Dementia with the University of Tasmania, Australia.

One of the leading universities researching Dementia, for my continuing professional development (CPD).

These are free academic online courses open to all interested parties, globally.

And I highly recommend them!

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

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.

But today my emphasis will be on the prescribed preventative measures we can take to lower our risk…

Research has also found that;

What is good for our heart health is good for our brain health!

I love it when science catches up with God’s word!

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

Proverbs 4:23

It has found that we need at least 150 minutes or more of physical movement per week.

This can incorporate walking, house chores, gardening, dancing or the more active aerobic exercise (for those fitter ones out there).

Any activity that gets our hearts pumping faster is good!

Although; Please check with your physician if you have a heart condition before increasing your physical activity.

This movement can be done in the following increments of time each week…

Approximately 22 minutes per day of activity that gets your heart rate up!

I really enjoy walking along the waterfront where I live so this movement isn’t a task for me even in chronic pain.

Walking actually helps the intensity of the pain to lessen! I know that sounds crazy but it does! Who knew!

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.

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.

It’s the build up of beta-amyloid fragments (plaque) that clump & tangle the neurones together that cause the more common types of dementia.

This plaque is shed everyday as we use our brains, it is only cleaned away as we sleep by specialist cleaning cells in our cerebral spinal fluid.

black and gray camera skeleton keys and brown framed eyeglasses on gray surface

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.

So even in lock down its important to interact with our family & friends.

“Do not give up fellowshipping together [socialising] as some have gotten in the habit of doing but encourage one another, especially as you see the day of the Lord drawing near.”

Hebrews 10:25 paraphrased

Learning new things & educating ourselves throughout life

Challenging our brains consistently & constantly creates new neural pathways that help build a Cognitive Reserve for healthier brain function.

Which is growing a postive investment for our future quality of life.

This can be done by learning a new language, a new skill or craft, doing puzzles, reading, going to museums, studying a new interest or writing a blog! 😉

Keeping Mentally healthy is also very important, making room for good mental health practices is essential. 

Because… 

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.

That’s Good News

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 has found there is no demonstrated higher risk between Brain Fog & Alzheimer’s (ref)! Yay!

To personalise this…

I have slowly built my physical activity to the target of 150+ minutes per week by combining the activities I enjoy.

Which seemed an absolute impossible task at first with having Fibromyalgia but it can be done! I’m a living example of this!

As you can see from the above I enjoy research.

And I find writing this blog a constant challenge each week which builds my Cognitive Reserve.

I do try to socialise with friends & family as able even if it’s only digitally (which is the main option in this lock down).

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

The Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge on the preventative prescription for me is quality sleep!

As living with Fibromyalgia, quantity & quality of sleep is often allusive.

Though I have been following the Sleep strategies…Here  to help with this conundrum…which have improved my sleep for the moment.

What could you do to improve your lifestyle from the above Preventing Dementia Prescription my friend?

Until next time,

Jennifer

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


© 2021 Jennifer M. Ross, teawithjennifer.blog All Rights Reserved. Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com 

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16 thoughts on “She sat staring out the window…

Add yours

  1. Jennifer I enjoyed your post today! I actually work on a team at our hospice that trains health care workers and family members in what their loved one is experiencing by doing a “Dementia Tour”, where they actually walk through in reality what it feels like to have dementia. The second Wind Foundation funds this & trains us to do it. We then debrief and counsel participants. I also work to supply resources for dementia patients in our hospice care and advocate in the community. My Aunt died last year from Alzheimer’s at the age of 70, and I lost a dear friend at the age of 55 from early onset Alzheimers. Your prevention tips are so good, something we all can benefit from!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Donna, I’m saddened to hear of your loss. It’s such an insidious disease. Hugs ❤️

      Your program sounds amazing, something we need here in Australia.
      I was the consultant for the Dementia Unit when I lived out West & it’s the families of three patients who really find it difficult as the disease progresses in their loved ones.
      Taking these preventative measures really help to lower our risk.
      Lovely having you drop by today 😀

      Like

  2. Jennifer, this is a wonderful and informative post. I also struggle to get enough sleep. I do find that blogging is helpful to keep my mind alert. My sweet daddy will be 91 in a couple of weeks and we are blessed and thankful for his sharp mind!

    Thank you my friend♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dementia runs rampant in my family and I already practice these suggestions. They are all so important!! I find as I get older I don’t sleep as well as I used to, but I still try. A great post today and thank you for linking it up. I hope many take the time to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michelle.
      On reading the most recent research since posting…apparently as long as we are getting 3-5 complete sleep cycles (which average 90 minutes per cycle) within a night’s sleep the Beta-amyloid plague fragments have time to be cleaned away. Yay! 😊

      Like

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