- Stay warm! Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
- Wash your hands. Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs, Especially with flu season starting to pop up. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Stress Management for Your Holiday Season Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
- Be Smart and Don’t Drink and Drive! Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same. Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but non-smokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
- Practice Seat Belt Safety. Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
- Healthy Holiday Screenings. Get exams and screenings. Ask your healthcare provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
- Vaccinate for your safety and others. Get your vaccinations. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
- Keep them safe too! Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
- Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
- Food Safety for Family Meals Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly. Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
More and more studies are showing that a lack of sleep can be a contributing factor to Alzheimer's disease and people with Alzheimer's disease often have trouble sleeping. Why a correlation with sleep you say? Sleep is very important. Your system not only needs sleep to function, but it also needs sleep to ensure your memory is functioning properly. According to the Alzheimer's association, Alzheimer’s patients often have problems with sleeping or may experience changes in their sleep schedule. Scientists do not completely understand why these sleep disturbances occur. As with changes in memory and behavior, sleep changes somehow result from the impact of Alzheimer’s on the brain. When managing sleep changes, non-drug coping strategies should always be tried first. Sleep patterns are found to regularly change among those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, but tend to be more severe in Alzheimer's patients. There is evidence that sleep changes are more common in later stages of the disease, but some studies have also found them in early stages. As with most changes in memory and behavior, sleep changes somehow result from the impact on the brain. According to the Alzheimer's Association, sleep changes can include: Waking up up more often and stay awake longer during the night. Brain wave studies show decreases in both dreaming and non-dreaming sleep stages. Those who cannot sleep may wander, be unable to lie still, or yell or call out, disrupting the sleep of their caregivers. Daytime napping and other shifts in the sleep-wake cycle. Individuals may feel very drowsy during the day and then be unable to sleep at night. They may become restless or agitated in the late afternoon or early evening, an experience often called “sundowning.” Experts estimate that in late stages of Alzheimer’s, individuals spend about 40 percent of their time in bed at night awake and a significant part of their daytime sleeping. In extreme cases, people may have a complete reversal of the usual daytime wakefulness-nighttime sleep pattern. Need more sleep? Or have additional questions about Alzheimer’s and sleep? Talk to your doctor.
Alzheimer's Disease... Your mind is such an important part of your being. Many Americans often start losing their memory and all too common suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. At first, someone with Alzheimer's disease may notice mild confusion and difficulty remembering. Eventually, people with the disease may even forget important people in their lives and undergo dramatic personality changes. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia — a group of brain disorders that cause the loss of intellectual and social skills. In Alzheimer's disease, the brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function. Current Alzheimer's disease medications and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms. This can sometimes help people with Alzheimer's disease maximize function and maintain independence for a little while longer. But because there's no cure for Alzheimer's disease, it's important to seek supportive services and tap into your support network as early as possible. Starting to feel a difference in your memory and have additional questions about Alzheimer's disease? Make sure to talk to your doctor.