Tips for healthy living during Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 1:42 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. The Alzheimer’s Association wants to focus on educating everyone about the disease, and ways to reduce your risk factors.

“In Mississippi alone, there are over 57,000 people with Alzheimer’s Disease, and 131,000 caregivers,” says Adina Welker with the Alzheimer’s Association, Mississippi Chapter. “One in four caregivers precede their loved ones in death because the strain and stress is so hard on them.”

Welker says, in addition to learning about Alzheimer’s itself, this month is also a time to think about the caregivers and showing appreciation for them.

Welker says early intervention is key to preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. “We’re talking 20′s, 30′s is time to take action, because what you’re doing now can affect what your future will look like,” she says.

Many of the risk factors are genetic, but not all. Maintaining a healthy heart and brain will better ensure prevention of the disease.

“Keep your blood pressure under control. Keep your diabetes under control. Keep your weight down. Exercise,” Welker says. “You want to eat right. We have found the Mediterranean inspired diet helps to reduce risk factors.”

Head injuries also contribute to a likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

“You really want to intervene. You want to wear your seat belt when riding in the car, when riding on a four wheeler, when you’re doing activities like that. Wear your helmet. Buckle your children into their seat belts correctly,” she says.

Welker also suggests challenging your mind with puzzles, games, and creative activities to help keep your brain in good shape.

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