Across the globe, more than 35.6 million people suffer from dementia. Sadly, one out of three seniors dies from Alzheimer’s, which is one of the more debilitating forms of dementia. Veterans who have experienced various forms of brain trauma over the course of their service are unfortunately at an even higher risk for developing these cognitive diseases.
The Los Angeles Times cited a study, which found that traumatic brain injuries made veterans as much as 60% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Similarly, veterans who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are twice as likely as those without PTSD to suffer from dementia. Also, 49% of veterans are above the age of 65 years old, putting them at an even greater risk for dementia compared to the general population, of which only 15% is over the age of 65.
According to Military.com, since veterans are at an increased risk of suffering from serious cognitive disorders, it’s imperative to understand how to protect themselves and their families by determining what benefits are available to them, knowing how to identify the signs and symptoms of dementia, taking enough vitamin E, and emphasizing the importance of brain health.
Thankfully, there are plenty of people who are willing to help. Whether it’s a national organization providing health benefits to veterans struggling with dementia or construction crews working to ensure the respect and peace to veterans who have fallen, more is always being done.
According to Newsday, the fencing that boarders a veterans cemetery on Long Island has been seriously damaged over the years due to general wear and tear, harsh weather, and vehicle crashes. The U.S. fencing market is projected to reach $11.5 billion by 2024. Now, construction crews, as part of a $9.2 million repair plan, are restoring the fence, adding a new sidewalk, and widening the distance between the fence line and the curb to keep veterans and families who are morning the loss of their loved ones, as well as the physical graves and monuments found throughout the cemetery, safe and protected.
“I can’t wait until this is done because it’s going to be phenomenal, which is deserving of all our veterans, nation’s heroes, and their families,” said Srey Austin, Long Island National Cemetery’s director.
About 350,000 veterans and family members are buried at the Long Island National Cemetery.
Additionally, in order to not only maintain a healthy brain, veterans and senior citizens alike should emphasize living a healthier lifestyle in general. Here are the six pillars of a healthy brain that will subsequently improve all facets of life:
- Regular physical activity and exercise.
- Maintaining a healthy diet.
- Frequent mental stimulation.
- Actively engaging in social situations.
- Properly managing stress.
- Getting enough sleep.
Whether it’s a veteran being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or anyone struggling with memory loss and cognitive problems, it’s important to note that more can always be done. Stay active, live a healthy lifestyle, and take advantage of all the resources that are available.