A recently published study points to the idea that there might be a link between where you live and the likelihood that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Shockingly, this report didn’t look for things like areas with high rates of pollution or exposure to lead or radiation. Rather, the study found that there was a connection between dementia and living near a major road or highway.
Coming out of the University of British Columbia, researchers found that people who lived a distance of 50 meters or closer to a major road, or 150 meters or closer to a highway, were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease than people who did not live closer to a major traffic route. Conversely, they also found that those who live in a greener environment were more likely to avoid these neurological conditions. Their findings were published in the journal, Environmental Health.
It is believed that the reason behind this is the air pollution that cars produce. While this has long been suspected–that auto exhaust causes these issues–this is the first scientific evidence that it actually has a negative impact on the neurological health of an individual in this manner.
While this is good to know, it’s not always actionable information for us. It’s not realistic to ask everyone to move away from highways, and efforts to reduce pollution often are minimal at best. In the end, we can try and account for all of these things that can have an impact on health, but when it’s someone that we care about that is impacted, sometimes a little bit more is needed.
For example, taking steps to help reduce the risk of these diseases can be helpful. Exercise, good diets, and efforts to reduce the amount of pollution that we are exposed to can be helpful. They might not guarantee the prevention of these diseases, but it can be a step forward. Every little bit is helpful when it comes to improving the health of the people that we love.
Being preventative is good, but even the most careful of people can get sick, whether it be from dementia, cancer, or something else. How we handle life afterwards is now what has become important.
We can help. The care of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia is tough and it can take a lot out of a family. That is not to say that you don’t want to give your parent the very best that you can. No, this is what we all want to give the people that we care about. When needs are greater, like with someone who has dementia, we simply don’t have the resources as individuals to help them in the way that they most need.
This is where professional senior care can step in and take some of the burden off of your shoulders. Care can be a blessing when it sets your mind at ease regarding the care that a loved one receives.