June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness and discuss the important topic of cognitive decline. Throughout the month, the Alzheimer’s Association encourages global support for the movement by wearing purple, along with promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors that can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
For many seniors, it is quite natural for cerebral acuity to lessen as they age. However, by introducing certain strategies into daily living patterns, some older adults can maintain their intellectual robustness and bolster their overall health.
Ways on Improving Brain Health
Achieving and maintaining sharp cognitive function requires a holistic approach that includes:
- Consuming brain healthy foods
- Exercising regularly
- Engaging in challenging mental activities
- Getting adequate sleep
- Staying socially connected
What are Some Brain Boosting Foods?
Incorporating foods such as salmon, tuna, and avocados, (which contain Omega 3 fatty acids), green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, along with berries into a senior’s diet can slow cognitive decline and improve memory.
Foods with Omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid, the protein that forms the plaque that clumps together between nerve cells (neurons) in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
These nutrient-rich foods that are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can elevate memory function, concentration, and mood while also promoting a healthier gut-brain connection.
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Exercise Your Body and Your Brain
Regular exercise can improve both physical and emotional health by increasing oxygen flow in the brain and throughout the body. Exercise can also increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which improves memory function.
It is also important to stimulate the mind through puzzles, computer games, or taking up new hobbies. All of these activities can boost cognitive agility.
Other Ways to Improve Brain Function
Lack of sleep has significant implications for seniors, as it can impair proper brain function. Sleep experts recommend eight hours of uninterrupted sleep daily.
Social isolation also appears to have detrimental consequences on cognitive health. Studies have found that social engagement can potentially slow down the progression of memory loss for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, all risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, can have a negative impact on cognitive health. A healthy heart is critical to maintaining brain health.
Supporting Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
Everyone at Frontier Senior Living supports Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. We have helped many families find the right senior living community to meet their loved ones’ specific needs.
Our team of compassionate and caring caregivers at our Assisted Living and Memory Care communities work each day to help our residents maintain their cognitive function, and live with purpose and dignity.
If you would like to learn more about our services, we cordially invite you to visit one of our communities, take a tour and speak with our friendly staff.