Changes to the brain are a normal part of getting older. As people age, the volume of the brain gradually shrinks, causing nerve cells to shrink or lose connections with other cells and leading to minor forgetfulness. These changes are normal, but for some people, they may be warning signs of a developing condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease surpassing mere age-related absentmindedness.
Cognitive decline does not have to be inevitable. Here are five tips to help you keep your mind sharp as you age:
- Stimulate your brain. Mental stimulation throughout your lifetime is extremely important for maintaining a healthy brain. Keep your mind active by playing challenging games, learning new skills, being socially active, and participating in other activities that require an engaged mind.
- Get regular exercise. Regular physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, reducing the risk of high blood pressure (which is associated with dementia).
- Eat a healthy diet. Staying away from saturated fats and eating plenty of vegetables and fatty fish is thought to have a reduced risk of memory loss.
- Don’t smoke or drink in excess. Both drinking and smoking are believed to increase the chance of cognitive decline. If you smoke, consider quitting. If you drink, do so only in moderation.
- Control high blood pressure and cholesterol. Both of these conditions increase the risk of stroke and heart disease, both of which are believed to contribute to the development of certain types of dementia. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of exercise, and refraining from smoking are all ways to protect your cognitive function.
At Mount Carmel Assisted Living, we specialize in the care of patients with memory problems like Alzheimer’s and dementia. We are proud to provide our residents with a stress-free, homelike environment that encourages socializing and activities. Our Behavioral Management team is familiar with the techniques to treat the behavioral issues commonly seen in patients. If possible, we also work with our residents’ physicians to try and limit the use of subduing medications. Click here to learn more about the many benefits and amenities we offer to our residents!
At Mount Carmel, we treat our residents like our own family. To learn more about our memory care services and to schedule a tour of our facility, please contact us today at (770) 824-3385.