More than 16 million seniors over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss. Many people believe memory loss is an inevitable part of aging. However, this simply isn’t true. If you have a senior loved one who wants to prevent memory loss, try these seven strategies for keeping his or her brain sharp.
Health conditions, loss of loved ones, and family members with busy lives of their own can leave seniors with few options for staying social. However, social isolation means more than boredom for seniors. A recent study by researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science found seniors who reported feeling the loneliest lost 18 percent of their memory every two years. Senior centers, walking groups, and in-home caregivers all provide ways for seniors to stay social as they age.
For families living in Coral Gables, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
2. Getting Enough Sleep
Seniors often have a difficult time falling and staying asleep. Lack of sleep may lead to many health problems, including memory loss. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found sleep deprivation in seniors was connected to memory loss and brain degeneration. Talk with a doctor to find solutions to help your loved one get the sleep he or she needs.
3. Learning Something New
The brain is like a muscle that needs to be continually challenged to strengthen and grow connections. Learning a new skill is a great way to challenge the brain. Encourage your loved one to try a new hobby, take a language class at a local college, or read a challenging book to keep his or her brain stimulated.
4. Being Active
Getting regular exercise keeps the heart strong, the muscles toned, and the brain healthy. Cardiovascular exercises cause more blood to be pumped throughout the body. This oxygenated blood helps the brain function at its best.
5. Eating a Healthy Diet
A low-fat diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can keep your loved one’s brain healthy. The brain needs a variety of nutrients, and following a healthy diet is the best way to get them. Including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and flaxseeds, may be especially beneficial for preventing memory loss.
A professional caregiver can be a terrific source of support for a senior who needs a hand with preparing nutritious meals. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
6. Staying Organized
If your loved one is experiencing some symptoms of memory loss, help him or her get organized. A clean, organized house with clearly labeled items can help your loved one find everything he or she needs. Calendars and appointment reminders can prevent your loved one from missing things he or she needs to do. Take the time to organize your loved one’s medications in a pill organizer to ensure he or she isn’t missing any doses.
7. Trying Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement that increases blood flow in the small blood vessels throughout the body. Increased blood flow can boost memory. Researchers at the Georgetown University School of Medicine found regularly taking ginkgo biloba helped people with dementia alleviate some of their symptoms.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elder care. Coral Gables families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 1 (305) 964-5636.