September is World Alzheimer’s Month! Every September Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) raises awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias, and encourages seniors to do everything they can to reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s on their lives. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of developing dementia, or slowing its progress. These include maintaining a healthy diet, staying active, and treating your hearing loss.
Alzheimer’s Disease and the Brain
Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common from of dementia, is a degenerative brain disease that attacks the neural networks in your brain, meaning the cells in the brain are cut off, unable to function properly, or even completely destroyed. These changes in the brain leave you easily lost, confused, or unable to perform the tasks of daily life. You might forget what day of the week it is, or even what month or year it is. While it’s a normal part of aging to be a bit confused every now and then, someone with Alzheimer’s simply can’t remember these facts, no matter how hard they think about it.
Staying Safe with Alzheimer’s Disease
It’s not surprising that as the brain is weakened, and it becomes difficult to perform simple tasks, safety turns into a huge issue. From forgetting to look both ways when crossing the street, or failing to turn the stove off after cooking dinner, those with Alzheimer’s or dementia often put themselves or others at risk.
Your home should be a place where you feel safe and comfortable, but for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease, home can turn into a minefield of safety hazards. If you or a loved one is struggling with Alzheimer’s, make changes to your home now to keep everyone safe. One important thing you can do is keep the house tidy, keep walkways clear, and tape down any electrical cords. Having a lot of things lying around can increase confusion, as well as pose a hazard for trips and falls. Protect electrical outlets with childproof plugs, and keep all kitchen knives or other sharp objects inside a drawer. Remove the lock from the bathroom door to increase your safety. If you slip or fall in the bathroom, or get stuck when performing a simple task, someone will be able to enter the room to help you.
It’s a good idea to write emergency numbers and your home address beside the telephone, so that in case of an emergency you’ll be able to call for help, and communicate effectively. Finally, take the time to hide an extra key somewhere outside, or give a spare key to a neighbor in case you accidentally lock your keys inside the house.
Treating hearing loss not only reduces your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, it also keeps you safe. Living with untreated hearing loss increases your risk of trips, slips, and falls, and a pair of hearing aids will help provide spatial awareness and improve balance. It will also help you locate sounds, and hear important signals like the doorbell, the stove alarm, or the ringing of the phone.
Outside the house hearing aids will also keep you safe. You’ll be able to hear the honking of a car that’s speeding towards you, or the barking of a dog in the park. Hearing aids will promote safety by providing spatial awareness and environmental sound cues, as well as reducing confusion be helping you make sense of all the sounds around you.
Not only does treating hearing loss help you follow conversations, strengthen relationships, and keep you safe, it’s also good for your brain. Keeping active both at home and in the community increases brain health, and slows the progress of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Pacific Northwest Audiology
Do the right thing for your ears, your brain, and your safety, and visit us today at Pacific Northwest Audiology. After a comprehensive hearing test, we’ll be able to recommend the perfect hearing devices to fit your lifestyle and hearing needs. A quality pair of hearing aids will help you hear, stay active, and keep your brain healthy. It will also help you follow conversations with ease, and communicate clearly with friends and loved ones.