Forgetfulness. Confusion. Disorientation. These as well as other impacts of cognitive decline make life challenging for older adults and people who care for them, and can be a consequence of:
- Health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and others
- Brain injury
- Medication side effects
- Poor lifestyle choices
- And much more
Yet it is essential to realize that aging in and of itself does not have to equal an inevitable lessening of one’s memory and ability to clearly think and learn new things. There are actually steps we can all take to safeguard and improve our cognitive health, such as:
- Start (and remain) moving. Physical activity, specifically aerobic exercise, has been connected with an improvement in the brain’s ability to create new network connections in addition to maintaining older ones – an essential component of cognitive health. Not only that, but the actual size of the brain structure associated with memory and learning increases in people who are physically active, helping to maximize spatial memory functioning. The most common suggestion is to strive for thirty minutes on most days of physical activity, but make sure to seek the advice of the physician prior to starting or modifying any fitness program.
- Exercise your brain, too. Keeping the mind engaged and active has been demonstrated to establish cognitive reserve in the brain, allowing for compensation for certain brain changes pertaining to aging or other conditions. In one recent study, those who engaged in meaningful, intellectually-stimulating activities attained greater memory improvement as opposed to those who did not. Good choices to help keep the mind active include playing games, reading, learning new hobbies or skills, and volunteering or working.
- Interact with other people. A number of research studies report the damaging impact of social isolation on both physical and emotional health. Remaining socially connected to family, friends, as well as the community at large is essential for older adults. Additionally, keeping the brain active and engaged lowers the chance for health complications such as depression. When in-person get-togethers aren’t possible, make use of technology (such as Skype, FaceTime and Zoom) to socialize, and interact with others through social media or simply just through good, old-fashioned letter and card writing.
If you’re looking for trusted home health services in Des Moines, IA and the surrounding communities, look no further than At-Home Care Company. Our compassionate care team can help older adults optimize cognitive functioning and all-around health and wellbeing through individualized in-home care services that can include:
- Providing transportation to outings, the gym, exercise classes, medical appointments, and more
- Preparing wholesome meals
- Companionship to boost socialization and engage in mental-stimulating puzzles and games, conversations, exercising together, trying new hobbies and learning new skills together, and so much more
- Taking care of housekeeping and laundry tasks, allowing seniors and their loved ones to spend high quality time together
- And many others
Connect with our aging care team at (515) 292-2650 for more information about how we can assist the seniors in your life, and to request a complimentary in-home consultation. To discover all of the communities we serve, please visit our Service Area page.