A fascinating article posted on Earth.com described the link between green spaces and the mind. Evidence already exists showing the connection between cognitive decline and dementia to urban pollution and lifestyle — by switching the focus and taking a look at the possible benefits of green environments, researchers at Barcelona Institute for Global Health were hoping to discover that living in greener neighborhoods could actually guard against the decline of cognitive health and decrease the risk of dementia in the elderly. With Alzheimers disease being as prevalent and debilitating as it is, and making up for around 80% of dementia diagnoses, the outcome of this research could end up being a revolutionary prevention method.
A Budding Project
Researchers monitored 6,500 people between the ages of 48 to 65 over the course of ten years, and used satellites to keep a close eye on their access to greenery. They asked each participant to complete several cognitive tests — designed to measure mathematical reasoning, verbal fluency, and short-term memory — at three separate points throughout the trial. The results, although small, were major in significance: after the 10 year followup, participants living in greener spaces showed a cognitive decline of 4.6% less than those not. Payam Dadvand, the study’s last author, pointed out the possibilities of performing this study on a much larger scale, such as population-level, and the meaningful findings that could come out of such an endeavor.
What This Means Today
Prevention is by no means treatment; if you know a loved one in need of Alzheimers care or dementia treatment, finding them specialized care should be your first course of action. Finding a dementia treatment facility or memory care center can be very difficult, but with so many wonderful options available (even oceanside nursing homes are an option!) you’ll be able to discover one that will bring peace and joy to your loved one.
A few memory care centers even exist in excessively green places, which, as the study pointed out, may be much more beneficial than we first realized. Find a dementia treatment facility surrounded by trees and grass; even if the environment doesn’t necessarily help with their memory, it will absolutely bring serenity and bliss.