Is there anything more fascinating than the human brain? And as medically advanced as this generation is, many of the brain’s intricate complexities are still not fully understood. One thing we do know, however, is that our memory capabilities naturally begin to wane as we age; and yet, this process can actually be reversed through neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to create new pathways and change existing ones to improve cognitive functioning, to actually improve memory. Amazing!
Although it sounds difficult, there are really some simple tips that stimulate the brain onto this more positive trajectory:
- Seek out brain enrichment activities. The best activities will help you learn something new, challenge you, build your way up in skill level, and be emotionally rewarding for you to engage in. Try mastering a new language, learning to play an instrument, or delving into the arts. And skip the computerized programs that promise to boost memory or IQ; research indicates that they’re ineffective.
- Get plenty of exercise. Aerobic exercise increases the amount of oxygen delivered to the brain, and exercises that involve use of motor skills or hand-eye coordination are especially beneficial.
- Improve sleep habits. So many of us get by with far less sleep than experts recommend, but too little sleep impacts us negatively in a plethora of ways – including brain health. Strive for 8 – 9 hours of sleep each night, on a regular, routine schedule.
- Stay social. One of the best ways to boost brain health is, surprisingly, simply through maintaining healthy relationships with others. For seniors who struggle with isolation, volunteering to support a favorite cause, joining a club or class, or engaging the services of a professional home care companion, such as those at Compassionate Nursing Services, are great ways to boost socialization.
- Reduce stress. Unmanaged stress can be damaging to both brain cells and the hippocampus – the area of the brain responsible for memory. Setting aside time for relaxing, enjoyable activities is crucial: quiet reading time, meditation or prayer, listening to music, etc.
For more tips on helping your senior loved ones improve memory and enjoy life to the fullest, contact the senior care experts at Compassionate Nursing Services. We can provide transportation and accompaniment for seniors to get out into the community and try something new, encourage participation in exercise programs, provide friendly companionship to reminisce, engage in favorite activities and pastimes together, play cards and other games, according to each person’s individual interests. Serving the St. Louis area, contact us at 314-432-4312 to learn more!