Researchers at the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Canada have published the results of a study which suggests that the risk of dementia may be just as high for seniors exhibiting sedentary lifestyle behaviors as for those who possess one copy of the APOEe4 gene. Those who possess one copy of this gene are three time more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those without the gene.
On the flip side, the study also suggests that physical activity can also decrease the risk of dementia. Arthritis, pain, fear of falling and isolation can all be barriers to older adults adding physical activity into their lifestyle. Just the sheer force of habit may keep them in their favorite chair. To help an aging parent become more active, consider movement they can accomplish while sitting. Some examples are leg lifts or stretches, arm movements or lifting even a can of soup to start. Helping a person ease into change through encouragement is the best approach with those who are experiencing the physical limitations of aging.