5 Ways To Improve Brain Health for Seniors

June 25, 2018 0

It is important that we take care of our brains.

And especially as we grow older.

In my opinion, the sooner you begin putting things in place to improve your brain health the better.

Is it possible to improve brain health and a better memory in adults?

Of course it is!

Indeed Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia can make it seem impossible. However, there are important lifestyle changes we can all make to improve our brain health.

There is now growing evidence that making certain key lifestyle changes can slow the decline of brain health which is common among elderly adults.

In this post, I will share 5 of those key lifestyle changes with you.

5 Ways To Improve Brain Health for Seniors

Thinking/memory games

Games that allow you or your elderly loved one to think or memorize facts are great for improving brain health.

A study published by the American Society for Geriatrics in 2014 showed that training the mind through thinking and memory games improved the cognitive ability of elderly adults and kept them sharper for 10 more years. The group that trained their brains also reported being able to perform more activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing up.

Sudoku, Scrabble and crossword puzzles are just a few examples of games that challenge the mind and keep it healthy.

These types of games are easy to buy at your local store.

The AARP also has a giant library of games on their website to help your mind stay sharp.

Maintain physical fitness

Staying physically active is another way to improve your brain health.

Physical activity opens up (dilates) blood vessels.

This in turn encourages more blood flow. When you have more blood flow, more oxygen to delivered to various organs of the body, including the brain.

More oxygen to the brain increases alertness and brain function.

In a study that was published by the International Journal of Psychophysiology,  two sets of patients were given either 21% oxygen (this is the normal rate of oxygen we encounter on a daily basis) or 30% oxygen while their brain activity was analyzed using an MRI- a type of brain scan.

The patients who received 30% oxygen showed more brain activity in the different parts of the brain than the people who were receiving the normal, everyday level of oxygen.

If there was ever motivation for you to go out there and get some exercise to improve your brain health, there you have it!

Additionally, when you exercise, chemical collectively called endorphins are released in your brain.

Endorphins interact with your brain cells to give you an overall sense of well-being which help with reducing mental health issues.

Maintain a healthy diet

Your diet is very important to your brain health.

What you eat can dull or thinking or make it sharper.

For instance, people who are on a primarily high protein, high fat and low carb diet report feeling more alert and sharp than when they consumed a lot of high carb foods.

Including a lot of proteins- meats, fish, egg, beans, peas- in your diet helps to keep your mind sharp.

Vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, Omega-3 and Magnesium are all reported to support brain health.

Even if you don’t already get these from your diet, you can take supplements that contain them.

Social Interaction

The risk for dementia and depression is reduced when we seek out social interaction.

Holding conversations allows us to use complex parts of our brains that are not stimulated when we’re in isolation.

Social interaction will also encourage better nutrition in elderly adults.

Learn a new hobby

Learning a new hobby is another way to improve brain health in your senior loved one.

When we start learning something, we stimulate several parts of our brain. These parts of our brains become super-active because of the newness of whatever it is we’re learning.

Later on, when we have mastered that activity, we don’t use as much of our brain’s learning and analytical center as we would if we were learning.

Thus, learning a new hobby which stimulates key areas of the brain will improve brain health while learning a pastime that is fun.

Closing Thoughts

You can avert brain health decline by making key lifestyle changes- for yourself or your elderly loved one.

In this post, I shared 5 ways to keep your brain healthy whether you’re a caregiver or you’re looking for something to help your elderly loved one.

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