You might be worried about cognitive decline in your golden years. However, you should know that there’s plenty you can do to maintain and even improve your cognitive functions as you age. Learn some strategies for how to prevent cognitive decline, and you’ll be off to a great start.
How to Prevent Cognitive Decline
Do you know how to prevent cognitive decline? If you’re worried about cognitive decline as a senior, you may be looking for ways to help yourself avoid it. It would be nice if there were one easy solution to senior cognitive decline, but unfortunately, it’s a little more complex than that. While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy, research shows that small lifestyle changes can add up to significant improvements. So, what can seniors do to avoid developing cognitive issues in their golden years?
Take Care of Your Body
Your physical and mental health are closely linked, so taking care of your body is an excellent way to care for your brain. Some healthy lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your overall cognitive health:
- There’s a correlation between uncontrolled high blood pressure and cognitive decline, so be sure to check your blood pressure regularly. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to get it under control.
- A healthy diet can give your brain the nutrients it needs to stay healthy in your golden years. Diets built around fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins are an intelligent way to support your cognitive functions.
- Physical activity is essential at any age, but it’s especially critical for seniors concerned with cognitive health. Exercise can improve your mood and give you more energy, making cognitive processes easier. Seniors should get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise.
- Another way seniors can reduce their risk of cognitive decline is to avoid accidents that can cause brain injuries. Take steps to reduce your fall risk by making your home environment safer. Improving your balance can also help you avoid serious falls.
- If you’re a chronic smoker or binge drinker, you do more damage to your cognitive functions than you realize. Limiting your alcohol intake, or even abstaining completely, can help. There’s also never been a better time to quit smoking than now.
Stay Mentally Engaged
If your physical health is in good shape, it’s time to improve your mental health. For seniors who are concerned with cognitive health, finding ways to stay mentally engaged with the world is critical:
- Using your brain to engage in socially productive and meaningful activities can boost your mood and help you stay mentally stimulated. Consider volunteering or finding another way to make a difference in your community.
- Social engagement is vital to maintaining cognitive health, so avoid self-isolating whenever possible. Spend time with friends and family, or seek new connections by taking a class or joining an online group.
- Chronic stress and other mental health issues can hurt your cognitive functions. Be sure to seek healthy outlets to process negative feelings, limit stress, and seek peace in your daily life. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, relaxation techniques can help.
If you’re concerned with how to prevent cognitive decline, consider how moving into a senior living community could help. Call us today for more information.
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