Strategies for Boosting Brain Health
As people age, they become more aware of the risks of dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory loss, and other cognitive impairments. They find recalling names or dates is more challenging, or they misplace their glasses or keys. While occasional forgetfulness is normal, more frequent occurrences may be a sign of memory problems.
Encouraging seniors to participate in activities to boost their brain health can help fight back against cognitive declines. Many of these strategies can be seamlessly integrated into everyday activities so that they hardly even realize they’re exercising their brain but are still receiving the benefits. Here are just a few ideas to support brain health:
- Stay active. Exercise helps to work different parts of the brain. Also, exercise helps prevent health issues which may lead to memory loss. It also improves circulation and reduces risk of disease such as heart disease or stroke that can have a negative impact on cognitive ability. Exercise also releases healthy chemicals in the brain that support mood, memory, learning, and more.
- Reading. Keep your mind sharp by reading all different types of materials from books and magazines to recipes and instructions. This can build new neural connections and give your brain practice in processing various types of information and directions.
- Play games and do puzzles. Whether you love a good jigsaw puzzle, board game, Sudoku, crossword, or problem solving activity, this gives your brain a workout. You have to manipulate pieces, numbers, letters, words, or information to solve a variety of problems. Try activities with varying levels of difficulty or where you’re working against the clock.
- Social. Engage in regular conversation and activities with friends and family. Talk about things that happened in the past, events that are occurring now, and what you’re excited about for the future. Social interaction can also boost your mood and help combat depression and loneliness. Join a club in your local community center to engage with those who have similar interests.
- Learn something new. Have you always wanted to try your hand at painting or piano? Are you interested in learning French or identifying different kinds of birds? There are countless community organizations and classes or online courses where you can learn about anything that may interest you. Continually learning and challenging yourself is a wonderful way to support brain health. Learning something new is the best way to exercise your brain and expand your horizons.
- Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest. The foods you eat help to fuel your brain, so make sure you’re getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. The Mediterranean diet has been proven to help slow down memory loss in mature adults. Also, pay attention to your sleep schedule. It’s essential that your body and brain have plenty of time to rest and recharge. As you sleep, your brain processes information from throughout the day.
Treat your brain like a muscle and exercise it in a variety of ways every day. Make sure you are taking good care of your mind just like you would your body. When memory problems arise, an in-home caregiver can be a wonderful resource to support safer, more comfortable aging in place. From help with daily tasks to companionship and medication reminders, caregivers provide the services you need when you need them. Schedule a free consultation with Always Best Care Senior Services, Plymouth Meeting/Lansdale, PA area at (267) 217-7059.