Working on Brain Health in Aging
Last updated 9/4/2023 at 1:53pm | View PDF
When thinking about your health and wellness goals as you age, you likely have a few benchmarks in mind – maybe there’s a distance you’d like to run, walk or bike. Perhaps you’re looking to shave off a few pounds, improve your cardio, or just feel a bit better overall.
But amid your physical goals, are you considering your brain health, too?
September is National Healthy Aging Month, a time to consider the different elements of wellness in aging and how they work together.
A significant part of healthy aging includes brain health, and it’s important to work out your brain in the ways you might work out the rest of your body. Of course, there isn’t exactly a gym for brain health, but there are many ways to incorporate healthy habits into your everyday routine.
A few steps you can take include:
• Staying social. Maintaining existing relationships and building new ones helps the brain stay agile. Conversation is one of the healthiest habits you can have for your brain.
• Keeping a consistent and healthy sleep regimen. Keep screens out of the bedroom and try to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
• Eating healthy. Lean meat, fish, fruits and vegetables are as good for the brain as they are for the body. Look into the Mediterranean diet, as it’s proven to help with cognitive health.
• Taking up new hobbies or skills. Whether it’s playing the piano, gardening or crafts, engaging your brain with hobbies helps it stay sharp.
Healthy Aging and Dementia
Of course, healthy aging is vital for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well. If you’re caring for a loved one with memory loss, here are some tips to consider:
• Maintain a consistent sleep routine for your loved one. Try to have them go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
• Join them for daily fitness routines for short periods of time. Exercise helps build strength to reduce falls, and can bring joy and pleasure.
• Install safety measures around the home, like weight-bearing grab bars in the bathroom, and removing loose rugs in bathrooms or on other hard surfaces.
• Incorporate music your loved one enjoys into daily activities. The part of the brain that stores song lyrics can be unaffected by the disease, and you might be surprised at how many songs they remember!
• Revisit old photo albums and reminisce about family and friends. Act as a conduit to help your loved one stay in touch with important people in their lives.
This article is courtesy of Prestige Assisted Living at Visalia. To learn more about their wellness programming or community, or to book a tour, visit prestigecare.com/Visalia or call (559) 735-0828.