As your loved ones age, you tend to focus more on their physical health. You become more careful to ensure that they are eating well, staying fit, and getting enough nutrition.
But what about your senior relative’s mind? Are you paying attention to how they’re taking care of it? They might not realize that they need to, so you should step up to let them know.
Like the body, the brain also deteriorates in old age. It should be kept healthy the way the body is maintained as well. Keeping the brain healthy will help them stay independent in old age, and it will also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other related conditions.
How can you ensure that your senior loved one keeps their brain strong? Let’s take a look at five things that will help.
Encourage them to read
It’s easier for your aging relative to just sit and watch TV most of the time. However, the TV doesn’t offer many cognitive benefits for your loved one.
Reading, on the other hand, stimulates the brain better, helping it stay healthy. Did you know that reading, on top of other activities, helps reduce the risk of developing dementia by up to 50 percent?
Just half an hour of reading every day will help your senior loved one’s mind and memory stay sharp. If they find it hard to read, you can try giving them shorter material or spreading that time out throughout the day.
Games and puzzles are fun, of course. Not only will it entertain your senior loved one – it also has wonderful benefits for their brain.
Did you know that playing games help prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Playing for a few minutes every day helps improve memory as well as creativity and decision-making skills.
Do you still have your old puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku, board games, or card games? It’s time to bring them back out! It will be a fun time for everyone, and it will help your senior loved one keep their brain smart as well.
Make sure they eat well
Keeping your senior loved ones nourished with the right diet will not just help them stay strong. It will allow them to stay sharp as well.
Eating healthy food will not only benefit their body. Proper nutrition helps the brain operate at its best. Avoid foods that are high in fat and cholesterol, as this can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Some good examples of brain food are lean proteins, fish, nuts, and dark fruits and vegetables. You can make quick and easy meals with these ingredients and it will help your senior loved one stay sharp.
Get them to exercise
Much like eating well, working out is another activity that’s intended to keep the body strong but also helps the brain stay smart. This is true for everyone, and most especially for seniors.
Did you know that aerobic exercise helps fight the effects of aging on the brain? Exercise also helps reduce the risk of a heart attack, as well as stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
Moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help your senior loved one’s brain stay healthy. Even just a walk outside or doing some gardening counts, so get them to do it.
Let them sleep well
Some people think that the older you get, the less sleep you need. The fact is, older people need more sleep in order for them to process and store memories better.
Did you know that seven to eight hours of sleep every night helps prevent memory loss? It helps the brain form short-term memories that your senior loved one can remember better.
Make sure that they have good sleep quality as well. Some medications and health conditions may interfere with their ability to sleep, so seeing a doctor will help. You can also help them improve their sleep routine for a good night’s sleep.