As our parents age, we expect them to start having trouble with their memories; forgetting where they left their keys or being unable to remember names, for example. This kind of senior memory loss is, however, largely preventable. Here are five proven tips that your parents can start using now to keep their minds as young as their hearts.
1. Never stop learning
Our brains are built for learning. When we learn something new, our brain is stimulated and builds new connections. It doesn’t matter what you choose – you can take a pottery class, learn how to play Sudoku, or even travel to a new city – what is important is that your mind is engaged in overcoming a new challenge. These kinds of mental exercises can help maintain healthy brain functioning well into their senior years.
2. Feed your body well
What you feed your body also feeds your brain. Eating a well-balanced diet, and, in particular, lots of fruits and vegetables, has been shown to slow the rate of cognitive decline and lower the risk of dementia in seniors.
3. Get moving
Regular exercise is often cited as the number one thing you can do to keep your mind sharp as you age. Not only does it lower your risk for diabetes, stroke, and other illnesses that can cause memory loss, but it can help increase the size of the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain that naturally shrinks in old age.
Exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous in order to see improvements, either: walking as little as fifteen minutes a day for a few days a week can help prevent memory loss in seniors. Resistance exercise and weight training have also been shown to assist in maintaining cognitive function.
4. Stay social
Conversations with other people – particularly those who disagree with you – is a great way to keep your mind active. The emotional and mental stimulation that comes from social engagement can also lower your risk of developing dementia.
5. Reduce your risk factors
Diabetes, obesity, and hypertension can all contribute to memory loss and dementia. By managing those risk factors now, you can reduce your risk of developing dementia or delay its onset by several years.
This article is provided by First Class Home Care Inc.