Ric Edelman: What Delaying Dementia Means for the Future

Ric Edelman: What Delaying Dementia Means for the Future

These easy fixes can help you delay the onset of dementia.

Reviewed by: Kent Thune
Edited by: Sean Allocca

Ric Edelman: It's Friday, September 22nd. I want to start today off with something that affects all of us Alzheimer's disease. This entire month is World Alzheimer's Month. For several years now, Alzheimer's has ranked as the one thing you are most afraid of and for good reason. 6 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. And that means, I bet you know somebody who has it or who has already died from it. It's not only a horrible condition, it's the most expensive disease to treat because patients typically need 24/7 care. They last, on average, 12 years from onset of symptoms to death. There's not much covered by insurance or Medicare because the care is just for the ADLs, the activities of daily living, and those are not covered by insurance or Medicare.

That's why most care is provided by a spouse or children. They spend their own money. They give up their own careers. That's why the cost is so devastating. And the statistics are staggering. By age 60, one, in ten Americans will have Alzheimer's. By age 80, it's 1 in 3. By age 90, it's 1 in 2.

So what can we do to avoid or at least delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease or dementia? New research says you ought to learn a new language. Software that helps you learn has now been shown to strengthen cognition and combat loneliness in older adults. And you don't have to achieve fluency to see benefits no matter how old you are. When you start, you still benefit, so your excuses are gone. Go ahead and learn a new language.

Another thing you can do to reduce your risk of getting dementia. Don't take heartburn medicine. PrilosecNexiumPrevacid. No, no and no. A new study says that people who took these drugs for four years were 33% more likely to develop dementia. Well, how do you avoid the need for heartburn medicine? Well, duh. Stop eating the foods that cause heartburn. When you have heartburn, your body's telling you that you ate something or lots of somethings that are bad for your body. Stop it. You'll probably not only lose weight; you'll feel better without the meds and you reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. You should also stop eating within three hours of going to bed. And while you're sleeping, elevate your head.

And if you want to know if you might be developing symptoms of Alzheimer's, sniff. Loss of smell could be a warning sign of future Alzheimer's disease. If you carry the ApoE4 gene, you have a higher risk of both Alzheimer's and of losing the ability to detect odors. Loss of sense of smell is generally noticed between ages 65 and 69. 

So we're all hoping for a cure soon. But in the meantime, there are steps we can take to reduce our likelihood of Alzheimer's.

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Ric Edelman, founder, Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals, is one of the most influential people in the financial planning and investment management profession, according to Investment Advisor, RIABiz and InvestmentNews. He was ranked three times as the nation’s No. 1 Independent financial advisor by Barron’s, is in two industry Halls of Fame and received the IARFC’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Edelman also holds two patents for financial product innovation. He is the industry’s top financial educator. Edelman is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of 12 books on personal finance, including his newest, The Truth About Crypto, an Amazon bestseller. He hosts The Truth About Your Future podcast and produces Public Television specials. Edelman taught personal finance at Georgetown University for nine years and is Distinguished Lecturer at Rowan University. He and his wife Jean live in Northern Virginia.