Forgetfulness is not always a symptom of a more serious problem — sometimes it is a perfectly normal, natural part of aging. (For more information on this subject, check out our blog on how to tell the difference between normal age-related memory changes and early symptoms of Alzheimer’s.) But “normal” though they may be, memory problems in your senior years can be incredibly frustrating and sometimes frightening. How can you minimize typical age-related memory loss and other brain changes?
In today’s post, our home health care providers at Your Healing Touch will go over our tips to keep your brain sharp and healthy long into your elder years. Read on to learn more, and feel free to contact the Your Healing Touch team with any questions about in-home care for you or your loved one in Indiana.
Although we are still researching the biological factors behind age-related cognitive changes, the initial science suggests that there are many ways to be proactive and keep your mind sharp for as long as possible. As it turns out, many of the best things that you can do to keep your brain healthy also keep the rest of your body healthy. You can’t go wrong when you:
Maintain Good Cardiovascular Health
Cholesterol problems and high blood pressure not only increase your risk for heart disease and stroke, but they have also been connected to cognitive decline. Make sure that you track the markers of cardiovascular health, including blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Keep your heart healthy by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating well.
Don’t Smoke or Drink to Excess
Smoking and drinking have both been linked to increased risk of dementia-like symptoms, along with a host of other health problems. If you haven’t quit smoking yet, it’s never too late to do so, and make sure to always drink in moderation. You’ll enjoy a healthier, happier life and mind for much longer if you do!
As we get older, it can be challenging to find physical activities that can keep us in shape and aren’t too hard on our bodies. Research shows that the effort is worth it, however — regular physical activity helps maintain blood flow to the brain and reduces the risk of conditions that are associated with cognitive decay. Check out our blog on five great ways for senior citizens to exercise and get started today!
There is strong evidence to suggest that Vitamins E and B and omega-3 fatty acids are crucial in preventing dementia-like symptoms as we age. Although research into neuroprotective diets is ongoing, you can start by incorporating more foods like vegetables, berries, and seafood, and cutting back on processed foods and red meats.
Use it or lose it. The Alzheimer’s Association identifies daily mental stimulation as one of the best ways to build cognitive reserve, and in the modern age, it is easier than ever to learn new skills! Recent studies show that learning new skills later in life (including navigating changes in technology or adopting brand-new technologies) has the potential to reduce age-related cognitive decay. Consider signing up for a weekly class on technology use, or if you’re already up to speed tech-wise, sign up for online courses through sites like Masterclass or Skillshare. As it turns out, you can learn almost anything online, and your senior years are the perfect time to do it!
According to a 2018 study, older adults with consistently high (or increased) social engagement are at lower risk for developing dementia-like symptoms than those with consistently low social engagement. So get out there and make some new friends, or spend time with your loved ones. It’s good for the brain!
Contact Your Healing Touch For Home Health Care in Indiana
We hope that today’s post has been helpful to you or your loved one as you prepare to keep your mind sharp long into your elder years. Our home health care agency proudly serves senior citizens and their loved ones across Indiana, and our certified in-home caregivers can provide any level of medical or non-medical care (including memory care). The compassionate professionals at Your Healing Touch are dedicated to helping you achieve the highest possible quality of life at every level of independence. Contact us today to learn more about our professional elder care services. We are ready to help!