Positive Thoughts and Dementia Prevention


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Caregiver_Senior_Talking5.jpgResearch: Positive Thoughts Could Provide Dementia Protection

From Gary Freeman of the Home Instead Senior Care® office in Red Oak, TX

Q.    I just turned 85 and I find it's getting more difficult to feel good about aging. Every day it seems as though I experience another loss. My daughter says I'm just depressed since my husband died last year. I tell her it's no big deal. A lot of people my age are depressed.                                                                                                                                                         

Depression is a big deal, and negative thoughts could put you at risk for other health issues. According to the latest research, the more negative beliefs about aging, the more likely the volume in the hippocampus part of your brain will shrink, which is an indicator of Alzheimer's disease.

This newly published research led by the Yale School of Public Health indicates that individuals who hold negative beliefs about aging are more likely to have brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The study further suggests that combatting negative beliefs about aging could potentially offer a way to reduce the rapidly rising rate of Alzheimer's disease, which affects more than five million Americans.

The study led by Becca Levy, associate professor of public health and of psychology, is the first to link the brain changes related to Alzheimer's disease to a cultural-based risk factor like this. The findings were published online in the journal Psychology and Aging.

"We believe it is the stress generated by the negative beliefs about aging that individuals sometimes internalize from society that can result in pathological brain changes," Levy said.

"Although the findings are concerning, it is encouraging to realize that these negative beliefs about aging can be mitigated and positive beliefs about aging can be reinforced, so that the adverse impact is not inevitable."

Why not talk with your doctor about any health issues that might be dragging you down. Have you considered companionship since your husband died? It might be a real game-changer for you.

​Caregiving companions could accompany you to events and spend time with you in activities you really enjoy. Your local Home Instead Senior Care® office could provide you with the all the details about how a CAREGiverSM could help change your way of thinking about growing older.

For more information about your local Home Instead Senior Care office, contact Gary Freeman at 972.576.1100 or go to HomeInstead.com/742. For more information about the research, go to http://news.yale.edu/2015/12/07/negative-beliefs-about-aging-predict-alzheimer-s-disease-yale-led-study.   

Each Home Instead Senior Care® franchise office is independently owned and operated.

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