Sometimes, we forget where we placed a certain item or struggle with finding the right word when talking to others. These can be normal experiences that are part and parcel of being human, but for older adults, it can be worrying when you cannot tell them apart from more concerning conditions like dementia. To deter or manage the progression of cognitive decline and dementia, there are certain things you can do to stay mentally sharp.
It is unavoidable that your brain will experience changes as you age. For example, the brain will shrink in size, leading to some nerve cells shrinking as well. For some, this can also lead to blood flow slowing down. Even despite this, excessive memory loss or cognitive decline is not normal and should not be viewed as an unavoidable part of old age.
Control Your High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Problems
These two conditions are risk factors for stroke and heart disease, which can exacerbate the onset of dementia. Cardiovascular health is more important than just maintaining a healthy heart, it improves blood flow throughout the body and to the brain.
Avoid High Alcohol Intake and Smoking
You do not necessarily have to quit alcohol and smoking completely, however, make sure to consume it only in moderation. Both habits contribute to compromised brain function and can heighten your risk for issues like dementia.
Maintain An Active Lifestyle
Having a routine where you exercise regularly has two benefits. Firstly, it will help to regulate blood flow to your brain and by doing so, improve your cardiovascular health. Next, having an active lifestyle ensures that older adults maintain their coordination, balance, and agility which helps to keep the brain stimulated.
Consume A Healthy Diet
Having a healthy diet that contains vitamin B, E, and omega-3 fatty acids while avoiding saturated fat and processed food has been shown to be effective in deterring the onset of dementia. Other beneficial food products like seafood, berries, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, and lean meats can also contribute to a neuroprotective diet that acts against cognitive decline.
Stimulate Your Brain
At the end of the day, our brains are a muscle. Just like other muscles, the more you choose to use it, the more it remains strong and retains its abilities. Some activities you can consider are learning new skills, taking online classes, or just playing mentally engaging games like puzzles, brainteasers, and other mentally challenging activities. Engaging in your hobbies or taking up new ones is not only fun but keeps your brain active as well.
Here at The Summit by Discovery Senior Living, we believe that all our residents in our senior living community deserve to lead a life with as much independence while still enjoying meaningful activities. This is why we have established our exclusive senior living programs that provide our residents with a wide selection of activities and events to choose from each day.
For more information about our housing options and programs, contact us today.