Update on Coronavirus / COVID-19 and senior safety, click here for more information.

7 Ways for Aging Adults to Keep Their Brains Sharp

By , 9:00 am on

Older adults who maintain active lifestyles can preserve their cognitive health and maintain many skills during their golden years. Therefore, you should find fun hobbies for your senior loved one and promote healthy habits that boost his or her cognitive health and keep him or her positively engaged. Below are some ideal ways to keep the brain active with age.

1. Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep can trigger changes in the brain that strengthen connections among brain cells and solidify memories. During sleep, neurons transfer information among various regions of the brain. To ensure your loved one gets plenty of rest during the night, help him or her develop a good bedtime routine, and limit distractions.

2. Stop Smoking

The nicotine in cigarettes can prevent new brain cells from forming, which speeds up cognitive decline. New neurons need to grow in the hippocampus because this region of the brain controls how emotions are regulated as well as how seniors learn new information and store long-term memories. Find healthy habits your loved one can adopt instead, such as cooking and gardening, and encourage him or her to join a support group. 

A professional caregiver can be an ideal resource when you’re trying to help your loved one lead a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

3. Exercise

When older adults work out, they’re not only burning calories but also stimulating their brains and boosting cognitive function. The physical movements involved in walking, stretching, swimming, yoga, and other exercises can stimulate memory function, which enhances mood and thinking abilities. Encourage your loved one to work out at least three times per week for more brain-boosting benefits. 

If your loved one needs help to exercise safely, consider hiring a professional home caregiver to provide support. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Cleveland seniors can depend on.

4. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Drinking too much alcohol blocks chemical signals between brain cells and may cause long-term damage. Consuming these beverages could prevent your loved one from thinking clearly and cause combative behavior because the dangerous chemicals found in drinks such as beer alter neurotransmitters. It’s best for your parent to give up alcoholic beverages altogether, but if your loved one continues to drink, encourage him or her to replace beer and liquor with red wine. The resveratrol in red wine can boost brain function and stave off conditions such as dementia.

5. Read

Reading is a hobby that can reshape the brain and significantly enhance its functioning. It could also strengthen your loved one’s attention span and help him or her complete various daily activities independently. Encourage your loved one to join a book club to discuss the material he or she has read. The social interaction can provide another great way to work out the brain.

6. Engage in Music-Related Activities

Music can keep the brain actively engaged in the senior years. Music memory generally remains intact with age, even in seniors with dementia, Parkinson’s, or other conditions that affect brain functioning. Encourage your loved one to listen to songs, sing, or play a musical instrument.

7. Keep Learning

Taking a college course, learning new dance steps, and trying to cook new recipes are fun ways to stimulate neurons in the brain. This is the type of stimulation that keeps the brain functioning well. Learning can also boost confidence and quality of life.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Cleveland, OH, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (440) 332-0170 today.

Home Care Assistance Awards