Posted on Feb 01, 2023, 1 p.m.
You probably experienced that moment when you go into the kitchen or check the fridge but can’t remember why. Sometimes, you also can’t recall familiar names or terms during a conversation. These memory lapses are often called “senior moments” but aging alone isn’t the cause of the cognitive decline. When significant memory loss occurs among the elderly, it’s usually related to organic disorders. You may also have a brain injury or a neurological illness that’s causing it.
Thankfully, scientists have found ways to prevent cognitive decline and reduce any risk of dementia. What’s important is maintaining healthy habits and a good lifestyle, like exercise and dieting. We’ll go into the details of these strategies shortly in this article but here is a reminder.
Don’t forget to consult your doctor about any diets and how regularly you must do your exercise. Doing research shows initiative in self-care but it’s best to avoid complications by consulting the nearest doctor.
Strategies From Health Clinics to Keep Your Mind Sharp as You Age:
- Keep Your Health in Check With the Nearest Doctor
Things like high cholesterol and high blood pressure increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. We recommend checking with your doctor's office if you’re experiencing any symptoms. Those two illnesses are known to contribute to the development of some types of dementia and memory loss. But the best nearest doctor will recommend the optimal lifestyle so you can avoid said illnesses.
Good cardiovascular health means healthy blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. This includes maintaining a healthy weight as well so you’ll have a better cognitive function. Make sure to ask your doctor about what the healthy range is for you. You should also ask what other steps you can take to maintain your cardiovascular health.
- Exercise Frequently as Advised by Doctor's Offices
Even in old age, regular exercise is necessary to help maintain blood flow to the brain. This also reduces your risk of developing conditions like high blood pressure which we discussed earlier. As such, a physically active lifestyle can delay one-third of dementia cases all over the world.
One of the most important factors of working out is to do it at a comfortable pace. As you grow older, your body becomes less tolerant of strenuous activities. That’s why it’s best to visit health clinics to ensure you don’t strain yourself. Instead of being healthier, you might end up having a stroke from exercising too much under the sun. It might not be recommended for you to jog when you should just be walking because of your age.
That said, the intensity of the workout depends on your age and physique, and the doctor’s judgment. You can’t just look things up online and take everything word for word even from a professional. Your doctor knows your conditions best so make sure to consult them before doing anything.
- Avoid Smoking or Drinking Alcohol Excessively
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, excessive smoking, and drinking put you at an increased risk of dementia. Smoking itself is horrible for your health so it’s best to quit it as soon as possible. If you drink, it’s recommended that you do so in moderation, like in Mediterranean diets.
You might be wondering how moderate drinking works so let’s go over that a bit. Men are limited to drinking two glasses per day and less than one glass for women. By a “glass”, we don’t mean to measure it by the wine glass but by about 12 ounces of beer. Regarding wine, it’s equal to 5 ounces and distilled spirits are limited to 1.5 ounces.
Having too much alcohol is associated with higher brain iron which means worse cognitive function. While wine may be good for your health, having it in excess will do more harm than good. About three standard glasses of wine are already too much so it’s best to keep count.
- Keep Your Brain Stimulated
One of the most important kinds of exercise for the elderly is brain exercise for mental stimulation. This will help you build your cognitive reserve, allowing you to function despite symptoms of brain diseases. You can do this by solving puzzles, reading, and learning new skills.
For example, you can learn how to navigate through new technologies or try new hobbies. Many elderly folks would tend to plants and, to a degree of surprise, some would turn to video games. The hand-eye coordination and motor skills that some games require can provide a lot of brain stimuli. Not to mention, you always need to learn something new with every game so it’s not monotonous.
- Consult A Certified Professional for a Healthy Diet
Your diet becomes more and more important as you age because that’s when symptoms manifest. Eating food that contains nutrients like vitamins E, B, and omega-3 fatty acids are linked with better cognitive function. Meanwhile, eating food with high saturated fats negatively impacts your brain functions.
Generally, the best diet for you should include leafy greens, berries, seafood, and other vegetables. The Mediterranean Diet is a popular recommendation because of the vegetables and healthy fats. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet also focuses on fruits and vegetables. They have fat-free dairy, whole grains, and lean meats in their diet menu which are great for your health.
Recently, a new diet was introduced called “MIND”: Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It incorporates 10 brain-healthy food groups into one diet. You have vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine.
With age comes many complications regarding one’s health and memory. Hence, it’s important to consult the nearest doctor for any changes in your lifestyle to keep your mind sharp. Regular check-ups are important as you age so you can keep track of your health. Doctors also need to update your medical record in case they need to prescribe maintenance medicine.
More importantly, they’ll advise you on the type of diet you need to have daily to maintain your health. By doing so, you can also keep your mind sharp despite your age, and having the right lifestyle is necessary for that. Eating the right food, exercising regularly, and stimulating your brain are key ways to take care of your mind and memory.
- In terms of dietary problems, what do the elderly commonly experience?
Elderly people commonly experience constipation, sarcopenia, dehydration, obesity, and malnutrition. Sarcopenia is age-related muscle loss and obesity leads to chronic diseases like diabetes.
- Is it safe to leave your elderly parents at home?
A majority of older adults prefer to keep living independently which puts them at risk. While you’d want to ensure they live safely with a caregiver, it’s best to ask the doctor and assess the situation.
- Is it normal when your elderly parent loses interest in something they were passionate about?
It’s possible that they just got tired of the hobby but it might also suggest memory loss or depression. Talk to them about it and bring it to their doctor’s attention as soon as possible for a geriatric assessment.
This article was written for WHN by Daniel Martin who has had hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. Creating winning content teams is his passion, he has built high-performance teams that have produced engaging content enjoyed by millions of people. In addition to playing ping pong and photography, Dan loves to travel.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
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