June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month – the perfect time to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It is essential to understand the impact of these conditions, recognize the risk factors, and promote a brain-healthy lifestyle for overall well-being. Racine Community Health Center is sharing valuable insights, statistics, and tips to support brain health.
Statistics and Facts:
- Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases worldwide.
- Over 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million by 2050.
- Alzheimer’s not only affects memory but also impacts thinking, behavior, and daily functioning.
- Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
Identifying Risk Factors:
- Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s, with the majority of cases occurring in people aged 65 and older.
- Family history and genetics play a role, as certain genes increase the risk of developing the disease.
- Lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and sedentary behavior may contribute to cognitive decline.
- Traumatic brain injuries and certain medical conditions like Down’s Syndrome also increase the risk.
Promoting Brain Health:
- Stay mentally active: Engage in challenging activities that stimulate the brain, such as reading, puzzles, learning new skills, working/volunteering and socializing.
- Maintain a healthy diet: Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity improves blood flow to the brain and promotes overall health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or do as much as you can.
- Manage chronic conditions: Keep conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol in check through regular medical check-ups and appropriate treatments.
- Get enough sleep: Prioritize quality sleep to support brain health and cognitive function.
- Stay socially engaged: Maintain strong social connections, participate in community activities, and spend time with friends and loved ones.
- Challenge your brain: Continuously seek new learning opportunities, try new hobbies, and engage in mentally stimulating activities.
Racine Community Health Center is here to help you manage chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol that put you at greater risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. For more information, resources, and support, make an appointment with the healthcare team at Racine Community Health Center.
Raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and other brain-related conditions, will help foster a supportive and educated community. Let’s join together during Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month to promote brain health, support affected individuals and families, and work towards a world without Alzheimer’s. Together, we can make a difference.