As people age, change begins to occur throughout the body, including the brain, which gradually shrinks. This shrinkage causes nerve cells to lose connections with other cells, resulting in instances of forgetfulness. These changes are generally normal, but for some, it might indicate the early signs of a serious condition, such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease. These conditions are severe and go beyond typical age-related issues with memory recall.
There are steps one can take to help stay sharp, however, and succumbing to these changes is not necessarily inevitable. Here are some tips you can follow to keep your mind sharp even in your golden years:
- Stimulate the brain: It is extremely important to mentally stimulate your brain, which is crucial to maintaining its health. You can accomplish this by playing challenging games, engaging in social activities, learning new skills, or partaking in other activities that might require the use of your mind.
- Regularly exercise: Physical activity is a healthy habit for the overall wellbeing of your body, but it also increases the flow of blood to the brain. This reduces the risk of high blood pressure, which has been linked to dementia.
- Maintain a healthy diet: This is another good habit that can contribute to your health in more than one way, but is also quite beneficial for your brain. Vegetables and fatty fish are believed to reduce the risk of memory loss, so make an effort to incorporate these into your diet.
- No smoking or drinking in excess: Most people know that smoking and drinking are bad for your health, but are especially damaging in old age and might increase one's chances of cognitive decline. If you must drink or smoke, do so only in moderation.
- Monitor and control high blood pressure and cholesterol: High blood pressure and high cholesterol both increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Moreover, they also contribute to the development of various types of dementia.
Essentially, it is critical for aging seniors to protect their health by developing habits that will promote a better functioning mind and body. Eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and minimize or refrain from smoking. Your golden years should be enjoyable.
24-Hour Skilled Care in Westchester County
At King Street Rehab, we have luxurious long-term living accommodations and a staff of skilled nurses to ensure your loved one is cared for 24 hours a day. Our long-term care services include dementia care, respite care, on-call doctors, memory care, Alzheimer's care, healthy meals prepared with fresh ingredients, and emotional and social support. When families visit our facility, they are often impressed by our clean and spacious rooms with ample lighting, as well as our beautifully landscaped grounds and walking paths.
Call us today at (914) 600-7149 to learn more about our services or to schedule a tour of our facility.