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Friday, 02 November 2018 07:17
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National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, as designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. President Reagan is actually the president most associated with the debilitating disease for another reason: he was diagnosed with it in 1994.

That November, at the age of 83, President Reagan announced he was one of the millions of Americans afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. His announcement brought Alzheimer's disease, the irrversible and progressive neurological disease, into the public spotlight. 

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia—the progressive detioration of the brain. The general symptoms include loss of memory and other cognitive abilities. The effects of Alzheimer's are particularly severe, and always fatal. There is no cure for the disease.

The Alzheimer's Association, the leading organization pushing for a cure, says their vision is nothing less than a world without Alzheimer's. They support research and medical advancements against the disease. Thankds in part to their efforts, we know a lot about the mechanisms that contribute to the disease's development. It begins when two types of proteins—tangles and plaques—build up in the brain. Eventually, the disease kills off brain cells, robbing the person of first their memory, then their personality, and finally, their very selves.

We still don't know the direct causes of Alzheimer's, but we do know some of the possible risk factors. Your genes and lifestyle seem to be the biggest factors in whether or not you will develop Alzheimer's disease. While you can't do anything about your genes, you can make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce your risk as much as possible.

Lifestyle Choices to Improve Your Brain Health

Implementing healthy habits as early as possible can help keep Alzheimer's at bay. Consider making the following changes in your lifestyle:

  • Excercise. Exercising regularly is the single best thing you can do for your health. Many, many studies have proven that physical exercise helps prevent the development of Alzheimer's. It can even slow the progression in people who are already showing symptoms of it. Older adults in good health should work out at least 30 minutes, three to four days a week. Aerobic exercises—work outs that dramatically raise your heart rate—provide the most benefits. If you have chronic health problems, consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.

  • Eat a healthy diet, specifically the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet consists of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, legumes, fish, moderate amounts of poultry, eggs, and dairy. Red meat, highly processed foods, and sugary treats are limited or consumed only sparingly. Much evidence exists to the powers of a Mediterranean-inspired diet for all areas of your health. Even partly following it can provide incredible benefits to your brain, your heart, and your entire body.

  • Get enough sleep. More and more evidence is showing that sleeping can help prevent Alzheimer's. This is because sufficient, good quality sleep helps clear more of the harmful protein from the brain, before it can build up to dangerous levels. Adults should aim for seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If you do get that much sleep, but find that you're still waking up tired, speak with your doctor. You may have a condition like sleep apnea, that not only causes sleep disturbances, but can also be very dangerous.

  • Stay connected and learn new things. While there is not enough hard evidence to make this a scientific recommendation, there is a strong correlation between isolation and Alzheimer's disease. Learning new things regularly, remaining socially active, and staying connected to the world around you can help you stay happy and emotionally well—and can possibly keep Alzheimer's at bay.

What Regency Health is Doing to Raise Awareness

As one of the top providers of long-term senior care in New Jersey, we are experts in Alzheimer's disease and dementia care. We are committed to providing the best care possible for all our patients, even—or especially—for those who no longer recognize their loved ones or remember their own name.

We see the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease every day, not only on the patient, but also on his or her family. In fact, the disease affects approximately 1 in every 2 families in the United States. That's a lot of people, and at Regency we're committed to raising awareness for Alzheimers. We do this by making sure our patients and their families always stay informed every step of the journey. And this month, we will also dedicate every article on this blog to a different facet of Alzheimer's disease.

We encourage you to share our posts to raise awareness during National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month







The Regency organization has become synonymous with the best in senior healthcare and has garnered a well deserved reputation for its unsurpassed commitment to its patients and residents.

The Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers and Facilities throughout New Jersey have achieved numerous industry ‘gold standard’ benchmarks and have received accolades from all corners of the HealthCare community.

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