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Staying Mentally Young

Staying “mentally young” doesn’t refer to acting as a child. What it means, instead, is staying mentally sharp and healthy as you age. Our cognitive skills start to deteriorate as we age, but there are things we can do to combat it. Between brain activities and improved health habits, making a few simple lifestyle changes can help keep you mentally young for years.

Staying Mentally Young

Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen

Whenever one has certain physical concerns, diet and exercise is always one of the first mentioned solutions—but did you know it can also impact your brain health too? Take a look at your health habits. Do you eat enough fruits, vegetables, and protein each day? Are you physically active (which can even mean going for a walk) for half an hour a day?

If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, talk to your doctor about making these health changes. They can inform you about what dietary changes would be best for you, or what kind of exercise you should try. Remember: it’s always easier to incorporate these changes slowly as opposed to uprooting your life all at once.

Establish a sleep regimen

The beginnings of cognitive decline and problems falling or staying asleep go hand in hand. Poor sleep will have an impact on your entire day, and can cause further complications with one’s cognition. Developing a set sleep schedule will help you maintain regular, quality sleep in the long run. A few great ways to do this include:

  • Creating a regular sleep schedule—get up and go to bed at roughly the same time
  • Follow a nightly routine before bed that helps you wind down—for example: take a shower, brush your teeth, and then read a book in bed
  • Limit stimulants (caffeine and sugar) several hours before bed
  • Minimize artificial, namely blue light
  • Use black-out curtains to keep the room the same level of brightness each day/night

Exercise your mind

Your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised to stay in tip-top shape. Thankfully, brain exercise is usually great fun! Pick up a Sudoku book, put together jigsaw puzzles, or try a craft such a painting. There are plenty of diverse activities that exercise your brain to its fullest.

While these activities won’t cure Alzheimer’s or dementia, they will make a difference in your overall cognitive health. Just like physical exercise, even half an hour of mental exercise will help you see improvements.

Find a new sense of fulfillment

While seeing one’s children grow up and thrive and eventually retiring are exciting parts of a senior’s life, they can also lead to feelings of “what next.” Studies have found that those with low sense of purpose are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Finding a new sense of purpose can help you stay mentally young.

Fulfillment looks different between individuals. For some, it may mean honing skills they had to put off during adulthood. For others, it could mean volunteering for an organization they believe in. What matters most is that you are developing a skill or new idea that gives you something to look forward to.

Stay social

While aging in place is ideal to most, it can be quite isolating—especially for those with mobility issues. Isolation and limited social interaction has been shown to lead to lower rates of memory retention and overall cognitive health. Make a point to stay connected with your friends and family to prevent this.

For loved ones who are local, set up weekly lunches or other get-togethers. For those who live further away, set regular phone or video calls. You could even try social media to stay in touch through messaging.

Find support with an at-home caregiver

Implementing these habits is a little more challenging for some seniors. If you require assistance with certain activities of daily living, consider hiring the help of an at-home caregiver. These professionals can help with any number of non-medical activities, such as personal care, meal planning, and so much more.

For more information on how an at-home caregiver can support you, call us at (623) 526-6367.

About Us

You have come to the right place if you are looking for in-home care for elderly loved ones or yourself in the Phoenix area. Our team of experts provides quality services to senior citizens in the comfort of their own homes. We understand that each individual is unique. We have a vast team of experts carefully detailing every care plan with years of experience-backed care knowledge.

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