Even though age-related cognitive decline is a part of the aging process, there is quite a bit seniors can do to boost their brain health. Contrary to what doctors believed a few decades ago, they now know the human brain can rebuild and repair synapses at any age. For many seniors, building new brain cells and synapses only requires a few lifestyle changes and a little bit of patience. Here are some steps the elderly can take to ward off cognitive decline and reduce the risk of many mental health complications.
Don’t Neglect Physical Health
Physical health has a major impact on cognitive abilities, which is why it is important for older adults to exercise at least a few days a week. Almost any activity that raises the heart rate and boosts cardiovascular health is also beneficial to the brain. Going for a walk every day can boost memory, creativity, and analytical abilities. Other great exercises for seniors include riding a stationary bike, gardening, swimming, and using an elliptical machine.
Aging adults who need assistance with exercise and help around the house can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. Montgomery home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Even though some seniors prefer to spend time alone, it is important to realize social isolation is extremely damaging to the brain. Interacting with peers and loved ones activates various areas of the brain at the same time, and it also stimulates the production of vital chemicals and hormones. There are many ways for seniors to find like-minded people, including taking classes, joining hobby groups, and going to local game nights. Those who aren’t comfortable leaving their home should try to have family and friends over as much as possible for movies, meals, and game nights of their own.
For families living in Montgomery, AL, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
Play a New Game Together
One of the best ways to challenge cognitive abilities is to play board and card games. In addition to being a great way to socialize, these games also test a wide variety of skills ranging from long-term planning to contextual memory. Complex games such as chess and poker are extremely good for brain health, but practically any game can help in some way. Most larger cities throughout the country have at least one or two organizations that host gaming events for seniors.
Suggest Trying the MIND Diet
The MIND diet is a variation of the Mediterranean diet, and it focuses on wholesome foods filled with brain-boosting nutrients. Many find this diet easy to follow because it breaks almost all foods down into 10 healthy categories and 5 unhealthy categories. Some of the healthy food options include leafy green vegetables, nuts, berries, and beans. Quite a few of these foods also contain antioxidants that prevent brain inflammation and destroy the plaques that can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Cognitive decline is one of the many health conditions that can make it difficult for seniors to manage everyday activities. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Montgomery live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your loved one needs assistance managing daily activities or symptoms of a disease, call us at (334) 593-3988 today.