Key lifestyle choices can help your brain stay healthy as you age, reducing your risk of cognitive decline. Follow these tips from the National Institute on Aging to keep your mind sharp.
- Give your brain a workout: Some studies show that continuing to engage in mentally stimulating activities may help protect your brain health as you get older. Hobbies like reading, playing games or music, learning a new skill and volunteering not only challenge your brain, but also promote overall wellbeing.
- Take care of your body: Maintaining physical health is important at any age to reduce your risk for disease and illness. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are essential, but there are other ways to care for your body, too. Schedule and keep your physician appointments; manage any chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure; get around 7-8 hours of sleep each night; and have a home safety check to reduce your risk of falls and injury.
- Stay connected: The past year has challenged everyone to find new ways to keep in touch with loved ones. As we transition to our “new normal”, take advantage of opportunities to safely reconnect with friends and family. Engaging in meaningful relationships and social activities can boost your mood, reduce feelings of isolation and possibly lower your risk of cognitive impairment.
- Manage stress: Did you know that chronic stress can affect memory and increase your risk for dementia? Take time each day to practice a stress-reducing activity. You could journal, meditate, go for a walk or do yoga, or just reflect on positive things in your life. These little actions can make a big difference long-term.
- Check your meds: Some medications or medication combinations can cause memory loss, hallucinations or confusion. Additionally, some meds can interact with certain foods, alcohol and dietary supplements. Review your medications – both prescription and over-the-counter – with your healthcare provider at each visit and report any concerns or side effects.
Elara Caring is here to help you maintain your health and safety as you age in place. For more information on managing your health at home, visit elara.com/care.