How Seniors Can Protect Their Brain Health
Like any part of the body, the brain changes over time. Seniors can protect their brain health both physically and mentally.
Since the brain wears with age, it’s normal for seniors to have small memory lapses. However, more significant brain issues can also develop. That’s why it is important for seniors to protect their brain health physically—and by staying sharp.
How to Protect the Brain Using Physical Strategies
The brain is an organ. Just like other organs, it’s affected by things like your blood pressure and what you eat. Seniors can decrease their risk of brain-related diseases like dementia by taking care of their brains physically. Important parts of physically protecting brain health include:
1) Not smoking or drinking excessively
2) Exercising regularly
3) Eating a healthy diet with omega-3 fatty acids
4) Maintaining a healthy cholesterol and weight
5) Managing blood pressure problems and stress
6) Stimulating the brain’s functions
7) Sleeping normal hours and durations
Tips for Stimulating the Brain to Stay Sharp
Brains need to stay active to remain healthy. Stimulation is essential for the physical brain health of seniors. It also improves mental wellness, decreasing the risk of depression. Use these tips to stay sharp:
1) Complete puzzles and mentally-challenging games
2) Stay engaged socially
3) Learn new things independently or through classes
4) Add variety to routines
5) Use all 5 senses regularly
6) Switch hands for basic tasks
7) Have fun while exercising the brain
Sometimes activating the brain feels challenging. But, most of the time, it’s just part of having fun and challenging yourself to stay creative and try new things. Brain stimulation is most effective if it’s interesting to seniors.
Symptoms of boredom from lack of mental stimulation can be surprising. Instead of recognizing their boredom, many seniors just feel grumpy, lonely, or purposeless. This can lead to appetite, sleep, and mood problems. If you notice these symptoms, try suggesting more mentally-engaging activities.
Benefits of a Healthy Brain
Having a healthy brain has its benefits, especially for seniors. Benefits include:
1) A sense of purpose
2) Greater independence
3) Improved memory
4) Reduced risk of depression
5) Decreased boredom
6) A more positive mood
7) Increased concentration
Caring for the Mind Too
Protecting brain health is about more than memory—seniors are at a greater risk for depression. Staying sharp can add purposefulness to senior’s lives, decreasing the chance of depression. However, it is also important for seniors to mentally relax and de-stress. Encourage seniors to meditate, reflect on positive memories, and deal with emotions like sadness or loneliness
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