Cognitive health is the ability to think, learn, and remember. Like physical health, mental health, and emotional health, it’s an important part of a person’s overall health. Good cognitive health can lead to a more satisfying and long-lasting life. As your loved one gets older, cognitive health is not an aspect of his health that should be placed on the back burner. It’s an area of his life that he should strive to keep healthy and continue to exercise. His senior home care providers can assist with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Most older adults will experience some loss in cognitive health. You or your senior home care team might have noticed that your loved one forgets names more easily now, or sometimes can’t remember which day of the week his senior home care provider stops by for a visit. These minor changes are normal and are mostly just frustrating. But your loved one can and should take steps to help his cognitive abilities remain as sharp as they can.
There are three main lifestyle choices your loved one can make that will help his cognitive abilities to stay strong and healthy.
Get Regular Exercise with Senior Home Care Assistance
Participating in regular exercise benefits overall health in many ways. While most understand how it benefits physical health, regular exercise also improves mental and cognitive health as well. It does the brain wonders when the body is participating in physical activity because the brain needs to do a lot of work in the background. If your loved one likes to walk, the brain is working on remembering the route, looking at the path, enjoying the sights and sounds of the walk, and maybe even engaging in thoughtful conversation with his senior home care provider as he walks. With the doctor’s permission, your loved one should aim for 150 minutes of exercise a week.
What your loved one eats, can affect his cognitive health. A diet that’s rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein promotes better overall health. It can reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions that not only harm your loved one’s physical health but his brain function as well.
While your loved one doesn’t have to eliminate all bad foods – he can still splurge for special occasions – his overall diet should reflect what many call the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet features traditional foods that are normally eaten in countries where the overall health of the elderly is high. These countries include France, Italy, Greece, and Spain. It includes the foods listed earlier, and stays away from processed foods, added sugar, and refined grains.
Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill can improve memory and brain function. While activities like reading and solving games help the brain as well, learning a brand-new skill engages the brain in a unique way that builds up its memory functions. The skill can be learning how to edit photos on the computer or learning how to play an instrument as examples, but it should be cognitively demanding to build up those memory muscles.
Don’t neglect the cognitive health of your loved one. It’s an important part of aging well.