How to make 2017 a great one for those living with dementia

Making a New Year’s resolution to eat better, exercise, watch your weight, see your healthcare provider regularly, or quit smoking once and for all, can help you get healthier and feel better for many more years to come.

For those living with dementia or caring for someone with dementia, this list of 12 ideas could help to make 2017 a great year.

Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy and healthy fats

Eating well is vital at all stages of life as it’s the fuel which gives us our energy and vitality. A healthy diet can help us to feel better, ward off sickness and keep us on the top of our game.

The CSIRO has a number of resources to help guide all of us in the right direction. Check out its online quiz which scores your diet or it’s many diets, including the renowned Wellbeing Diet. See our blog on the topic here.

Get active

Keep moving! Stay feeling young by keeping active. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to do it: start a daily walk with your spouse or a friend, or take up an activity such as water aerobics, yoga or tai chi. See here our blog on why enhanced muscle strength improves your brain performance.

See your doctor regularly

Ensure you keep regular appointments with doctors and other allied health providers. It’s vital to keep an eye on your vitals, as well as monitoring medication, etc.

Cut down on drinking

It’s harder for the body to process alcohol the older the body gets. Excess drinking can lead to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and dementia. You can still have a drink, but try and keep it to a glass or two. Check out our blog on the over-consumption of alcohol and its link to dementia.

Consider a multivitamin

Due to over-farming, our foods don’t contain the vitamins, minerals and trace minerals they used to. Also, our bodies require more as we age. It’s a good idea to “plug the gaps” with a good multivitamin.

Fall-proof the home

A lot of senior falls come from hazards around the home. Take preventative measures now to prevent actions in the future (see our blog).

Get your brain active

The old saying “use it, move it or lose it” is apt for our bodies, but our brain requires regular exercise as well. Find brain trainers, read or do puzzles – anything to keep the grey matter active.

Quit smoking

Give them up. It’s a well know fact that cigarettes kill.

Speak up when you feel down or anxious

Speak to a family member, friend or healthcare provider when you’re feeling down or anxious. Keeping quiet will not help your problems (or perceived problems). The best way to get it sorted is to get it out in the open.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is vital in all periods of our lives, but particularly when we age. Our bodies need at least eight hours per night (and more) to adequately rest and recover.

Master the internet

There’s a whole new world out there and it’s all at your fingertips. Find a local computer class which caters to seniors or computer novices and discover the world wide web.

Engage and socialise

Human connection is what we all crave. As we age, loneliness can be a huge issue as we begin to lose people who were close to us. Find a local social club, a book group or a craft class to meet and connect with others in the community.

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Check out the top 10 early signs of dementia. And discover more about how Alzheimer’s Disease is being treated with success.

How can Oxley Home Care help?

Oxley Home Care offers tailored, early intervention and health and lifestyle coaching to people with dementia. Each person assisted is treated as an individual with their own history, memories and likes/dislikes taken into consideration, with services offered from early onset dementia through to palliative dementia care.

Oxley Home Care’s support services for people with dementia and their carers include:

  • Personal care, showering, dressing, grooming, dental hygiene and denture care
  • Activities to assist and minimise behaviours
  • Preparing and serving of meals
  • Daily living support, including domestic assistance
  • Transport to social events
  • Shopping and errands
  • Companionship and leisure activities

In addition, Oxley Home Care’s respite support allows carers to rest and re-energise with peace of mind, on a regular basis.

To find out more about getting the right support and care for you or a family member with dementia, contact Oxley Home Care on 1300 993 591.

Gilian Douglass

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