We know the numerous positive effects to continuing to be physically active as we grow older – decreased risk of stroke and heart attack, diabetes, obesity, and many more. But it is just as important to keep our brains healthy and active, and given that September is Healthy Aging Month, it’s the right time to work through this quick checklist to ensure that we and our senior loved ones are taking the needed measures to stretch and strengthen our minds.
- Stay active. Exercise is a critical factor in the growth of new brain cells and restoration of cells that are in need of repair. Not only that, but it adds to our state of alertness and productivity through the duration of the day, according to Owen Carmichael, Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s associate professor and director of biomedical imaging.
- Never stop learning. Attaining a college degree should never signal the close of our education, and continual learning is crucial to a healthy brain. The good news: any form of learning at all is beneficial, whether that’s an advanced calculus course or simply picking up a new hobby such as quilting, a musical instrument, or a new language. It can even consist of such new accomplishments as learning to write or brush your hair with your non-dominant hand.
- Keep your cool. In the midst of staying physically and mentally alert and active, it’s very important to incorporate enough downtime to rest and to ensure appropriate amounts of sleep. Reserve designated time every single day for relaxing, enjoyable activities such as reading, journaling, spending time in the fresh air, etc.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Help to protect your brain against risk of disease and cognitive impairment with a diet high in monounsaturated fats (such as those found in olive oil and avocados) and low in saturated fats (like butter, cheese and beef).
- Avoid isolation. A recent study linked isolation and reduced socialization with an elevated risk of dementia. Arrange for frequent coffee dates, card games, and get-togethers with friends and loved ones, and join a club or activity to form new friendships.
Compassionate Nursing Services’ home care and respite care in Creve Coeur and surrounding areas can assist in a wide range of ways to keep older adults active, engaged and thriving with our senior care services! Our fully trained, experienced and compassionate in-home caregivers are proficient in providing companionship to build socialization, preparing delicious, nutritious meals, offering safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to exercise programs, classes and activities of interest, and so much more! Celebrate Healthy Aging Month by contacting us at 314-432-4312 to learn more about how our compassionate home health care services can improve quality of life for your senior loved one!