Many of us cope with the stress of caring for someone who has dementia. We agonize over the increasing losses that our loved one faces as dementia works its way through their brains. We also worry about ourselves. Will we, too, end our lives without recognizing the people we love? What, if anything, can we do to protect our own brains? With this question in mind, I asked two brain experts for their input on how caregivers can practice self-care and reduce worry about their health—specifically their brain health.
What's good for the heart is good for the brain: First, I questioned Benjamin T. Mast, Ph.D., ABPP, who is a Board Certified Geropsychologist, for his thoughts. Dr. Mast is Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. He offers these suggestions:
"Caregivers hoping to maintain brain health can focus on both behavioral and medical health," Dr. Mast says. "From a medical perspective, what is good for the heart is good for the brain. Maintaining good cardiovascular health is critical to brain health...
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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