DHEC Highlights Importance of Healthy 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 people of South Carolina of healthy lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

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 tips to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s:

  • Get regular physical activity that increases 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 can increase your risk of dementia.
  • Have had plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can cause memory and thinking problems.
  • Keep your blood pressure under control for a healthier body and brain. Heart disease and high blood pressure can affect the health of your brain.
  • Diabetes can increase your risk of dementia. See your doctor regularly to actively manage your diabetes.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking can increase your risk for cognitive decline.
  • Protect your head. Brain damage can increase your risk for cognitive decline.
  • Stay socially active and keep learning new things.

Officials stressed that people living with Alzheimer’s disease who reside in long-term care facilities can receive help.

DHEC continues to help administer CMS’s Civil Monetary Sanctions (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) which aims to help older people improve their cognitive, social and emotional well-being through learning opportunities and recreational activities.

Visit the DHEC website for more information on Alzheimer’s disease.

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