Keeping your senior’s brain as healthy and as strong as possible can help her to avoid or to slow down cognitive changes that can lead later to issues like dementia. It’s important to eat a healthy diet, too, but some of these practical ideas can help your elderly family member to work her brain on a regular basis, which helps to keep it strong.
Get a Handle on Stress
Stress takes a toll on your senior’s body and her brain. By reducing stressors in your elderly family member’s life wherever possible, you give her a chance to relax a bit. Talk to your senior about what causes her stress, whether that’s her health or other factors. Brainstorm together about possible solutions and work with your elderly family member to practice stress-relieving techniques like mindfulness practices.
Keep Learning New Things
The brain is like a muscle in a lot of ways. The more that your senior exercises her brain, the stronger it gets. That means feeding her brain new information and new ways of doing things. Find new hobbies or new activities that your elderly family member might enjoy trying and give them a shot. She may also enjoy taking classes or reading books and watching documentaries about subjects she’s always wanted to explore.
Move More and in New Ways
Your senior’s doctor may have recommended to her that she start exercising more and that is because exercise is an important part of keeping her physically and mentally as healthy as possible. Learning to do new movement activities is especially helpful for brain health, because your elderly family member is creating new neural pathways. Trying tai chi or yoga for the first time can be a challenge physically and mentally.
Stay Socially Engaged
Social interactions also help with brain health, so if your elderly family member has started to withdraw or isolate herself, you may want to try to help her to find ways to interact more with other people. One answer is to help her to reach out to friends and family members in new ways, whether that’s writing letters or learning how to use video chat software. Having home care providers visiting regularly can also offer necessary companionship on top of other types of practical assistance.
Brain health is absolutely vital for your senior. Work with her doctor to find out what else might be beneficial for her specifically.