This is another article about cat caregiver health. It is looking at the world of cats from the opposite direction by which I mean from the cat’s perspective. They want their caregiver to be healthy and well; to be sharp and on top of things. And this is how you do it.
People who have not yet entered middle age should be thinking ahead about old age. In old age they may well live with a cat or cats. And they’ll want to go on enjoying the relationship for as long as possible. They’ll want to put off the possibility of the onset of dementia. That task begins before middle age ideally. Or it may begin in middle age but it begins well before old age.
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Thinking ahead about the eleven factors that predict how likely you are to develop dementia
Below is a list of 11 factors that predict how likely you are to develop dementia:
- You are aged over 60;
- you are living alone;
- you did not enjoy a good education;
- your parents have or had dementia;
- you come from a poor socio-economic background;
- you are male;
- Looking ahead: you are predisposed to Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or (currently) you have Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is inherited whereas Type 2 diabetes is normally caused by being obese. So, this is an early step that you can take to prevent the onset of dementia in old age namely reduce your weight now;
- you suffer from depression or did suffer from depression;
- you live a lifestyle which predisposes you to having a stroke. This ties into middle aged adults who put on a few pounds innocuously. Easy to do. I did. They are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes two years earlier than those who stay slim. Keep the weight down please.
- you have high blood pressure and lastly
- you have high cholesterol. Eat porridge to reduce cholesterol and stop eating prepared meals and processed foods.
The list is very powerful and it points to lifestyle choices. A lot of these problems can be corrected by eating well in a controlled and self-discipline way and exercising. This means getting out every day in an exercise regime of some sort. It needn’t be particularly arduous but it needs to be regular. And it means cutting back on the booze. Perhaps eliminating it altogether. It means cutting out processed foods such as ready meals and eating raw foods such as fruit and nuts and those boring things. Think about Novak Djokovic’s diet. He is supremely fit and well. If his amazing diet interests to then please click on this link and read about it.
Oxford scientists have developed a screening tool which allows medics to predict someone’s chance of getting dementia through an analysis of their lifestyle and health in middle age. And they focus on the 11 points mentioned above.
They researched the matter using data from 220,000 British adults aged 50-73 and came up with a rank of the 11 strongest risk factors for contracting this disease. Some things you can’t improve on such as perhaps living alone. If you live alone, it’s very hard to resolve that problem sometimes. But the other points on the list are, I would argue, directly in the control of the individual.
Using the above 11 points, doctors can now import individual information for each of these factors into a simple online form which initiates an algorithm to provide a personalised percentage score of how likely a middle-aged patient is to get dementia over the next 14 years.
The study is published in the journal BMJ Mental Health. The authors claim that it is an easy-to-use and accurate risk assessment. Most of the questions require a yes or no answer. They hope that their work can be used as a screening tool in the NHS to provide forewarning to NHS patients about their prospects of contracting dementia and how to avoid it happening.
As mentioned, this is about modifying lifestyle. Yes, it requires self-discipline which can be tough and boring. And it’s a lot of fun to eat nice food and drink wine every day. And exercise can be boring and tiresome as well.
All these downsides are less onerous than the downside of having dementia when in effect life is over. When people who know you and are close to you see you disappearing in front of their eyes; the living dead. This far worse than a bit of self-discipline now.
Finally, the most important aspect of this article is that without dementia you will be able to continue to provide for your cat companion. If you have dementia your cat companion will end up in a cat shelter or if they are lucky rehomed with a good friend who you know is reliable.
Adding pounds in middle age raises heart attack risk
Another article in The Times tells us that middle-aged adults who put on a few pounds increase the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. These diseases will occur on average two years earlier compared to those who stay on a healthy diet and remain relatively slim according to new research. It only takes slightly unhealthy traits in one’s 40s and 50s to be 1/3 more likely to die in your 60s and 70s compared to those who enjoy good fitness.
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