So often we hear seniors saying that their minds and bodies just aren’t what they used to be. Of course, the ageing process does present certain challenges, one being the cognitive decline of the brain. According to the US National Library of Medicine, after the age of 40, the brain decreases in size by 5% each decade. The most significant impact of this loss of brain volume is reflected in mild memory problems, losing the ability to learn new things easily and to screen out the distractions that can interfere with memory and learning.
While the aging process cannot be halted, studies have shown that there are proactive measures one can take to maintain brain health as you age.
Keep Your Brain Active
It is never too late to start learning something new. A 2017 study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry suggests that learning new skills later in life can make a difference. After a 10-week program where septuagenarians attended a two-hour computer class on a weekly basis, they showed improvement in processing speed. Whether you take an art or cooking class, join a book club, or learn how to use new technology, the stimulation you get from a new and different activity aids in keeping your brain sharp.
Stay Socially Engaged
Staying socially connected helps keep your brain active while keeping you engaged in the world. Be it going to the movies, volunteering, playing cards or just enjoying meals together, you are stimulating your brain. A recent study by the Mayo Clinic showed that seniors who were involved in social activities decreased their risk of mild cognitive impairment by almost 20%.
Stay Physically Active
Daily exercise is not only helping your body, it is also benefiting your brain. Just 30 minutes a day can help improve cardiovascular function and blood circulation throughout your body, including your brain. A 2018 study from the University of Texas showed that walking 4,000 steps per day can increase brain function in seniors.
At Regency Park Senior Living, we recognize the importance of staying active and involved to maintain brain health. Our residents enjoy a socially engaged lifestyle always exposed to a plethora of physically and mentally stimulating activities. From daily exercise classes to weekly card games, art and cooking classes, or simply enjoying the company of new friends, there is always something new to engage and challenge our residents.