Dementia is now a public health priority as per the Alzheimer’s Association. Based on figures, the same platform estimates that over 50 million individuals today are suffering from different forms of dementia.
Quite shockingly, the figure is also expected to increase by three times or more come the year 2050. So, regardless of how much science and technology improves, the number is expected to increase given the current standing of the condition in recent times.
Unfortunately, there is no cure found yet for dementia. But, even so, many institutions, organizations, and even assisted living communities have attested that there are practical ways and approaches to decrease the risk of having it. And based on general reception, exercising is one of the best solutions.
Benefits of Exercises and Physical Activities For Seniors With Dementia
It is already established that exercising regularly can decrease the risk of having dementia. Many experts have concluded that it offers significant results and impacts on people who are living with dementia, along with its many forms.
But, aside from the slow progression and assistance to decrease the risks, exercising daily also offers benefits to those who are already experiencing dementia. As it happens, it helps improve the overall quality of life.
Here are some of the points as to how physical exercise can be beneficial for seniors and elderly individuals with dementia:
1. It improves mood
Mood swings or dramatic changes in mood are apparently one of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Sadly, it has been found that people living with the condition suffer greatly from various mental and emotional changes that totally impact the mood.
As everyone knows it, changes in mood have negative impacts on one’s day-to-day activities. So, it makes things more complex and challenging. Thankfully, though, exercising is found to improve one’s mood.
Alongside the decrease in the production of stress hormones, happy hormones are further increased, which makes the overall mood and ambiance a little lighter and happier.
2. It reduces constipation
According to Alzheimer’s Europe, people with dementia may also suffer from constipation and other bowel movement-related conditions. What’s even worse is that studies contend that the person experiencing it may now know about it or be aware of it. As a result, it makes things very challenging, both for the patient and the caregiver.
But, exercising is found to be a great help. As per reports, effective physical activities can help slow down the time that the food reaches the large intestines. Accordingly, this limits water absorption. Hence, allowing the stools to pass effectively.
3. It improves heart health
There are studies today that suggest the apparent links between dementia and heart diseases. Based on findings, people who have heart problems are much more prone to having dementia and other causes of the condition. Conversely, people who have a good and healthy heart are found to have much lesser risks of developing dementia.
It is common knowledge already that exercising daily can improve cardiovascular health. So, it is really beneficial, especially for those who have dementia to be active in order to possibly decrease the risk of the progression of the condition.
4. It improves physical abilities for everyday tasks
Dementia is a challenging condition. What’s makes it more challenging is the fact that it affects and impacts one’s ability to perform daily activities. This is because dementia impacts mental, emotional, and physical aspects.
Now, exercise can help this type of concern. As it happens, regular and active physical activities improve mobility that can help perform tasks much easier. Even for those people who are not living with dementia, exercising is very much recommended for this very reason.
5. It slows the process of mental decline
Seniors and elderly individuals who have dementia are very prone to mental decline, often requiring memory care as their condition worsens. This is because it primarily targets the cognitive functions and other brain functionalities. So, impairment is very much apparent in this case.
But, fortunately, exercise can slow the progression of mental and brain decline. Thanks to its wonderful and amazing benefits toward the brain, exercising daily can even improve the functions and features. As a result, symptoms can be slow down in the process.
6. It improves sleep
Sleep disturbance is said to be very common for people who are suffering from dementia and other forms of the condition. Many caregivers from various Alzheimer’s care facilities attest to this notion. Some have noted that sleep disturbances include night wandering and confusion during the wee hours.
Because of this, exercise can be very beneficial as it can improve the quality of sleep and rest. Even for people who do not have dementia can attest to this. The reason being is that exercise allows the body to rest properly, especially if the exercise is done during night time, before heading to sleep. As a result, sleep disturbances and other similar cases can be decreased, which is very helpful for seniors and individuals who have dementia.
7. Provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment while staying engaged and occupied
Having a sense of purpose, as per studies, is very beneficial for people who are living with dementia. Based on findings, it is a very therapeutic thing for them as the day-to-day living has become a real challenge for them.
One great example of a practice that gives them a sense of purpose is apparently exercising. This is because, exercising, in general, is deemed as a challenging task. When a person accomplishes a day of exercise, it makes them feel good about themselves. And this is found to be a helpful variable for individuals who have dementia.
Conclusion: As a final thought, dementia, along with its other forms, is a total challenge. It impacts almost every aspect of one’s life, which results in a significant change in the quality of living. But, thankfully, exercising and doing physical activities can alter things around. With all of the benefits of exercise, it seemingly appears that it can offer the reverse effects and symptoms of dementia.