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How to Boost Brain Health in the Elderly

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

For decades, memory loss and other symptoms of cognitive impairment were thought of as a normal part of the aging process. However, studies performed in recent years revealed several factors that contribute to cognitive decline in aging adults.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. In Oakville, families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Here are a few ways to boost brain health in seniors. 

Play Games and Puzzles

There are several games and puzzles that are sure to appeal to seniors. These fun-based activities may require evaluation and strategy before performing a particular action. Playing board games or cards provides a wonderful way to stimulate the brain while enjoying the company of others. Crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, hidden object games, Sudoku, and word searches are some examples of puzzles that stimulate cognitive health. 

Address Nutritional Needs

Lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains supply the nutrients needed for the body to function properly. These foods are also rich in antioxidants, which combat the free radicals that contribute to cellular degeneration. Researchers have also discovered coffee and tea may be beneficial for brain health, as the caffeine content is thought to enhance mental function. 

Get Active

Getting an appropriate amount of physical activity helps maintain brain health. Exercise enhances cardiovascular circulation, which ensures the brain receives the amount of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood it needs to function properly. The activity need not be strenuous and it should be modifiable to accommodate seniors with physical limitations. Some simple options include walking for 30 minutes a day or holding onto a chair and standing on one leg for 10 to 20 seconds, then shifting the body weight to the other leg. Wheelchair-bound adults can try performing torso twists and arm exercises. 

Give Up Smoking

Smoking interferes with lung function and leads to a number of chronic conditions, which deplete oxygen levels in cells, tissues, and organs. Smoking also constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure and heart rate. These problems can have an effect on brain health. While stopping the habit should be a senior’s decision, family members can offer support. 

Seniors can also delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive health conditions by giving up smoking. Aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from receiving professional Alzheimer’s care. Oakville seniors need regular mental stimulation when managing memory-related conditions, and a reliable in-home caregiver who has extensive training in Alzheimer’s care can be a great asset.   

Socialize 

Many older adults become depressed when they are unable to interact with other people. Depression could cause many different health conditions, including cognitive decline. Family members can minimize the risk for depression by staying in touch with their older loved ones. If you live close to your senior loved one, visit him or her routinely. Seniors might also gain social benefits by joining church groups or community organizations. 

Laugh More Often

Researchers found that laughter has different positive physiological effects on the body. Laughing stretches the muscles in the face and throughout the body. It also increases heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate, which sends oxygen to tissues faster. Encourage your loved one to watch TV shows or movies he or she finds humorous, then watch these shows and movies with your loved one and share funny stories from the past.

Regular social interactions can reduce your loved one’s risk for dementia and other mental health conditions. For dementia care Oakville, ON, families can count on, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers use revolutionary memory care programs to help seniors stave off the progression of dementia, and they can also assist with a wide variety of important everyday tasks, including bathing, grooming, exercise, and cooking. If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia, call us at (905) 337-1200 to create a care plan for him or her.

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