The Aging Adult’s Brain
Every brain changes with age and many seniors fear the unknown that can come from cognitive decline over time. We begin to experience lapses in memory, or “senior moments” as they are commonly referred. Not remembering why you entered a room, misplacing your keys, or forgetting a plan you made with a friend are examples of the normal memory loss many older adults may encounter in their later years.
There are a variety of reasons adults experience these memory problems, including a decline in memory and cognitive skills as a result of decreased blood flow to the brain. Additionally, the aging hippocampus deteriorates, and this affects our ability to form and retrieve memories. Hormones protecting and repairing the also brain decrease with age. These fleeting memory problems leading to the “senior moments” we experience reflect normal changes in the brain over time.
5 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Brain
Although a cure has not been discovered to prevent the serious memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s and other related dementias, research has found various strategies to combat the natural decline in cognitive abilities most adults experience. Leading a healthy lifestyle can do more than benefit your physical health, but can improve and sharpen your mental health over time.
Keep a healthy brain by implementing these healthy lifestyle tips into your daily routine:
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a well-balanced diet of healthy brain foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat and sugar can help reduce risk for cognitive decline. In fact, research has found certain foods including blueberries, fish, almonds, curry powder, and even an occasional glass of red wine can help slow memory and cognitive decline and combat dementia in older adults.
Physical and mental exercise: Regular physical exercise can increase the production of the small blood vessels that supply blood to the brain and stimulate the brain’s ability to maintain and create connections. Additionally, brain exercises such as puzzles, brain teasers and strategic games can positively stimulate the brain and decrease risk of dementia.
Get quality sleep: Adults require at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night for the brain to recover, store memories and flush out toxins. In fact, numerous studies show a link between poor sleep patterns and higher levels of beta-amyloids, the brain-clogging proteins that can further interfere with sleep. Getting a healthy amount of sleep can increase the brain’s ability to function and form memories.
Manage stress levels: Adults with high levels of stress experience a variety of negative effects on the body and their brain health. Chronic stress has been proven to lead to deterioration in the memory area on the brain, negatively impacting nerve growth and cognitive abilities over time. Taking time out of your day to eliminate stress through meditation, relaxation and guided breathing can help reduce your risk for memory decline.
Maintain an active social life: Having a positive social support network can be a major part of leading a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically. Aging adults can often face social isolation as they age, leading to a higher risk of dementia. Look for activities you enjoy, reach out to others in your community, take a senior fitness class, or simply meet a friend for lunch once a week to ensure you stay actively engaged in life around you.
By David Lasman – “Ask Medicare Dave” | President – Senior Healthcare Team
wwww.SeniorHealthcareTeam.com | 866-333-7340
Selecting the right healthcare plan through Medicare can be overwhelming and downright stressful. Senior Healthcare Team is a nationwide resource that provides guidance and support about Medicare to seniors at no cost to them and helps them to choose the most suitable insurance plan tailored to their specific needs and budget. Our goal is to educate and empower our clients to make the best decisions regarding their healthcare and clear up the confusion of Medicare. At Senior Healthcare Team, we aren’t partial to any one insurance company. Our loyalty is to our clients and our mission is to provide them with the best healthcare options at the very lowest cost.