About 1 in 9 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Alzheimer’s is the only leading cause of death in the United States that does not have a cure. And while there is no cure yet, there are still some healthy changes you can make to your lifestyle to try and prevent dementia.

1. Sleep

The average person over the age of 65 needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Not getting enough hours of sleep could put you at a higher risk of developing anything from heart disease, to diabetes, to dementia. Studies have found a connection between cognitive decline and insomnia. Experts do suggest that if you don’t get enough sleep during the night, you can always make up for it with a long nap.

2. Watch Your Food Portion

Seniors need different daily vitamins than younger adults; they also require different amounts of foods than different aged adults. Practicing proper portion control is an important part of a healthy diet, balanced diet. Eating too much can lead to a shortened lifespan due to preventable diseases. To maintain proper portion control, read the labels on your groceries. Understand what a portion of each food means. Seniors should focus daily on getting 3 cups of vegetables per day and 3 servings of fruit, 6 ounces of whole grains, 3 cups of dairy, and 3 ounces of protein.

3. Socialize

A study found that having several healthy social relationships is just as beneficial to a person’s health as quitting smoking is. That same study also found that highly social people could possibly extend their lifespan. People who have strong social relationships have a 50 percent higher chance of living longer than people with poor social relationships or no social relationships. Another study found that postmenopausal women who spent at least one day a week looking after their grandchildren had a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.



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