Keeping Your Mind Active In Long Term Care

Staying Mentally Sharp in Long-Term Senior Care

Seniors know that staying physically healthy is the key to living a long and happy life. Sometimes they may focus on their physical health to the exclusion of their mental health. Staying mentally sharp while in your senior years is something you don’t want to put on the back burner.

Brain Power

Many seniors live in dread of losing their mental faculties. Fortunately, they can take steps to keep their brains healthy and functioning at a high level.

Exercise

Age-related memory loss can be lessened by exercising regularly. Experts recommend walking for 30 minutes each day, not only to keep your body fit but also to protect your brain. Exercising may be the most effective way to preserve your brain because it helps prevent conditions that cause memory loss. Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can all adversely affect your memory. Walking daily is an excellent preventative measure.

Brain Stimulation

You may have heard that doing crossword puzzles helps to ward off dementia, and they do help. To keep your brain sharp, you should continually challenge it throughout your life. People with less education are more likely to develop dementia, but the number of degrees you have isn’t important. You can educate yourself by playing online word games, learning a new language or acquiring a new skill. Make new friends and join a card club. Remaining intellectually active is an excellent defense against serious cognitive problems.

Kick Bad Habits

Smoking is a bad idea no matter your age, but seniors really need to kick the habit. Smoking contributes to many health issues by adversely affecting your heart and lungs. Smoking also raises your risk for dementia. It is never too late to stop smoking and improve your health.
You may be confused by the advice on drinking since moderate intake has been shown to have some health benefits. If you want to indulge in a glass of wine or a beer or two, go ahead. Excessive drinking, however, not only ravages your liver and other internal organs, it can also raise your risk for dementia.

Healthy Eating

You know that you need to maintain good nutrition in order to remain physically healthy, but getting the proper nutrition also helps keep you cognitively healthy as well. You can protect your brain even more efficiently by focusing on certain foods with super brain preserving powers. In particular, certain diets have great potential to protect your brain by promoting brain-friendly foods. These foods include the following:

Berries

If you like berries, you are in luck. When you eat a healthy amount of berries, you can keep your brain younger. Blueberries are especially effective in slowing cognitive decline, so put them on your oatmeal and use them for a snack. Your brain will thank you.

Fiber

High levels of cholesterol can lead to vascular problems, which then lead to strokes. Reducing your cholesterol by eating more fiber can help protect your brain. Eat plenty of “whole plant foods” like beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to help draw the cholesterol out of your body. Improving your blood flow protects the brain.

Nuts

Eating plenty of nuts can boost your brain power. Walnuts provide a high level of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which can help slow cognitive decline as you age. As a bonus, they help to lower blood pressure. Almonds and hazelnuts have plenty of vitamin E, which can help improve memory. Even the humble peanut may help prevent Alzheimer’s by providing necessary niacin to your diet.

Fish

Fish with high levels of omega-3 help your heart and your mind, so indulge in tuna, mackerel, and salmon when you can or take a supplement. Eating the right types of fish can improve your object recognition and spatial memory among other benefits.

Green Tea

If you like your hot or iced tea, make sure that you are sipping on the green variety. If you are already a tea lover, drinking plenty of this healthy beverage is easy to incorporate into your day.
Eating well and meeting your nutritional needs works for your body and your mind. A poor diet can wreak havoc on your cognitive function, as well as your cardiovascular system. Snacking on fatty, sugary items is unhealthy for people of any age.
Keeping your mind engaged is another key to mental health. Be a lifelong learner, and keep your brain fired up. Learn a new skill, read books, or join social clubs. Like any part of your body, your brain can decline if you don’t use it.
Contact us today for assistance finding the senior care services you need for your loved one.
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