DHEC emphasizes the importance of health lifestyle choices during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is reminding South Carolinians that healthy lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
DHEC says some risks, such as age and genetics, cannot be controlled. However, there are several choices you can make to reduce your risk.
DHEC provides the following advice to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s:
- Get regular physical activity that raises your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body.
- Eat a balanced diet with less fat and more fruits and vegetables to help control weight. Obesity in middle age may increase your risk of dementia.
- Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep may result in problems with memory and thinking.
- Keep your blood pressure under control for a healthier body and brain. Heart disease and high blood pressure can damage your brain’s health.
- Diabetes may increase your risk for dementia. Visit your doctor regularly to actively manage your diabetes.
- Stop smoking. Smoking may increase your risk of cognitive decline.
- Protect your head. Brain injury can increase your risk of cognitive decline.
- Stay socially active and keep learning new things.
Officials emphasized that those living with Alzheimer’s that reside in long-term care facilities are able to receive assistance.
“DHEC continues to help administer CMS’s Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) Reinvestment Program, which supports projects that benefit nursing home residents and improve their quality of life,” said Hayleigh Reavis, CMP coordinator. “DHEC recently awarded funding to an entity to implement a project called It’s Never Too Late (iN2L) that aims to help seniors improve their cognitive, social and emotional well-being through learning opportunities and recreational activities.”
Visit DHEC’s website for more information about Alzheimer’s Disease.