Staying Well and Healthy With Dementia

Leah Health Guide
  • Ahhh, it’s time for looking inward…to get a retrospective view of where I am now and where I want to be…  Having vascular dementia is unlike other dementias.  If I keep my blood sugars level (and they aren’t) and my blood pressure within good range (which it is) and my cholesterol level at a healthy level (which it is and isn’t), my dementia may not worsen for five, ten years…and maybe never.  So, I figure, if you have to get some form of dementia, vascular might just be the one to get. 

    Back to making appraisal of where I am now:  I’m overweight—obese (I HATE that word—it has such a poor connotation).  As I wrote in the first paragraph, my blood sugar levels are not in control—though I really don’t know this because I usually forget to take them.  My blood pressure I get checked regularly at the doctor’s and when I go grocery shopping—though I don’t put a lot of faith in the ones at the store as I wonder about their calibration.  My cholesterol level is high because I LOVE LOVE LOVE meat—not the lean kind, but the kind with lots of fat.  (I really think I inherited this from my grandmother who had twelve children and would eat the fat of the meat served to each one…I saw her do this when I was a child.)  You might be out there saying, “Ewww…how disgrusting!” or “Gross!”.  But if you are a fat lover like me, you know that this is where the meat gets much of its flavor…

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    Continuing my review:  Remember the Wii I wanted so badly?  I got it.  I used it for the first few weeks…and guess what?  It sits, calling to me, every time I go to the family room to watch TV.  I rarely go down to the family room anymore…could it be guilt?
    And the gym set my husband bought for us both to use?  It sometimes gets a workout holding a jacket up…  And the treadmill?  It screams for attention…and gets none.  So, the exercise that is so badly needed to help me get in shape is definitely lacking at this point.  I don’t know if it is laziness or forgetfulness.  I seem to fill my time in other ways…

    If I were to grade my attempts at keeping healthy on an A to E scale, A-excellent and
    E- failure, I would definitely give myself a D.  About the only thing I am managing to do is to take my oral meds and my injections for diabetes.  Other than that, unless puttering with my plants can be considered aerobic exercise, I am failing miserably in all areas.

    My Action Plan has to be constructed carefully.  Having dementia, I need to work on one or two areas with very precise actions.  Somehow, these actions must be repeated enough to become second nature.  Just like what happens to most dieters, I will fall off the wagon and possibly become even worse if I am not careful.  With this in mind, here is my plan.

    My Action Plan:
    1.    I will begin using the Treadmill every other day for twenty minutes.
    2.    On off days, I will use the Wii, using the exercise portions for twenty minutes.
    3.    My husband and I will bowl, golf, etc at least once a week, using the Wii.

  • Diet: 

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    1.    I will begin following the plan in Cook Yourself Thin, as seen on Lifetime television.  It is a gentle reminder of how to eat well, not by starving yourself.
    2.    I will substitute high fat items with low fat, such as cheeses, cottage cheese, etc.  I will limit my intake of red meat (Alas, I MUST do this!).  I will stop eating the extra fat from meats.
    3.    I will weigh myself once weekly, but use the fit of my clothes as a better indicator of how my weight is doing.

    Notice, I didn’t say anything about taking my blood sugars daily…that can come next.  To help me remember the steps I have chosen to take, I will make a chart which I will hang all over the house..  This will help to keep me accountable.

    One last thing:  I am a firm believer in positive affirmation.  I will display the following affirmation on the bathroom mirror and the refrigerator:

    “I love and care for my body, and it cares for me.”

    Subsequent ones will be:

    “I have the power to control my health and wellness.” And 
    ”My mind is at peace.  I am filled with energy to do all the daily activities of my life.”

    My best wishes to all my readers.  Hopefully, you can relate to some part of my life and glean some little piece of information and/or encouragement from it.

Published On: June 19, 2009