5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Developing Dementia

Though there are no ways to completely avoid dementia, there are things you can do to manage risk factors and reduce your chances of developing the disease.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

We often get the question “Can dementia be prevented?” Unfortunately, preventing dementia is an unattainable goal because the leading causes of dementia—age and genetics—can’t be altered. Despite the progress we’ve made, there’s still a lot that doctors don’t know about the disease. You can, however, take specific steps to reduce your chances of developing dementia. 

The key here is understanding dementia risk factors, particularly the difference between dementia risk prevention and risk reduction. While dementia risk prevention is impossible, risk reduction is something everyone can do. 

Top 5 Dementia Risk Factors

1. Age

Age is the top dementia risk factor. According to the CDC, dementia primarily affects people 65 and older.

2. Genetics

Those with a family history of dementia are more likely to develop the disease.

3. Gender & Race

Women and minorities are most susceptible to developing dementia. 

4. Heart Health

Heart health factors—such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels—increase a person’s risk of developing dementia. Other factors include smoking, poor eating habits, and excessive alcohol consumption. 

Other factors include smoking, poor eating habits, and excessive alcohol consumption.

5. Physical, Mental, & Social Activity

Lack of physical and mental exercise, along with social isolation, increases one’s risk of developing dementia. 

It’s important to note: many risk factors are out of your control. Instead of worrying about what you can’t control, take ownership of what you can control, and let go of the rest. 

Read More: Top 7 Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease

How to Reduce Dementia Risk Factors

While there are no ways to prevent dementia, you can reduce your risk of developing it by engaging

Group of seniors playing building blocks together.

 in certain activities. 

1. Exercise Your Brain

Keeping your brain active is a major step in protecting yourself from developing dementia. Here are some ideas for stimulating brain activities to engage in:

  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Painting
  • Card games
  • Learning a language
  • Crossword puzzles

2. Exercise Your Body

Regular exercise improves heart health; a healthy heart reduces multiple dementia risk factors. Whether you enjoy walking, biking, or dancing, find a way to move your body a few days each week.

3. Stay Connected

Staying socially engaged in your older age reduces your risk of developing dementia. You can do things like meet friends for a weekly dinner, FaceTime family members on the weekends or join a social club in your community. 

4. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption affects heart health and damages the brain, both factors which increase the risk of developing dementia. While you don’t have to eliminate alcohol from your diet, drinking in moderation effectively reduces your chances of developing dementia. 

5. Practice a Healthy Brain Diet

Maintaining a well-rounded diet gets your body the nutrients it needs to promote optimal heart health and brain function, and reduce the overall risk of dementia. Eat more nutrient-rich foods—such as green vegetables, berries, and fish—and limit foods that are fried, high in nitrates, and contain artificial sugars. 

Award-Winning Dementia Care Community

Whether you have questions about how to reduce dementia risk factors or need an all-inclusive memory care community for your loved one to join, Terra Vista is here to guide you through the process. This includes offering personalized medical services and daily memory enrichment activities. We do everything to provide the dementia care your loved one needs while making them feel right at home. 

If you’d like to speak with a Terra Vista dementia expert, feel free to give us a call. 

 Call Terra Vista at 630-793-0753