Maintaining a Healthy Brain as You Age

    Glenn Smith 24 Feb

    Insider, Person Centered Care, caregiver, elder care

    Maintaining a Healthy Brain as You Age

    Brain health is key to healthy aging and an improved quality of life.

    There's a lot of discussion and collaboration about healthy and active aging, which includes more than maintaining strength in the body and avoiding physical illness. It's also lends to keeping your brain healthy. There are some natural changes to the brain that occur with aging, which may include inflammation, decreased blood flow, and even shrinkage of certain areas of the brain, and these changes can alter how you remember things or multitask. 

    However, your brain has the power to keep learning and adapting even as you get older. As with the rest of your body, your lifestyle can influence the health of your brain. Here are a few recommendations you can embrace to maintain a healthy brain as you age.

    Enjoy Lifelong Learning 

    Mental stimulation is key! You can improve the way your brain cells communicate by keeping them stimulated and engaged.  Any type of new activity can do the trick. Take up a new hobby, learn a language, read, volunteer, play games, do puzzles, or enroll in a class. 

    Get Creative 

    Closely tied to lifelong learning, participating in art and creativity can improve cognitive function. Being an active participant or spectator of theatre, listening to music, the arts and more has the added benefit of social interaction (see below), though solitary artistic endeavors, like painting or writing, can help improve memory and enhance your quality of life.


    Sleep Well

    Sleep quality often declines as you age, and that may contribute to our declining memory, as well. Fortunately, you can take  steps to help improve your sleep:

    • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
    • Create an ideal environment for sleeping: dark, cool, and comfortable.
    • Avoid using your bed for waking activities, like reading or watching TV.
    • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the late afternoon.
    • Avoid screen time for at least an hour before bed.

    Stay Social 

    iStock-1152603154One study showed that mice who live in groups had better memories than those who lived in pairs. Social interaction has long been known to improve mental health: it decreases stress, protects the brain from disease and improves memory, keeps you happier, promotes longevity, and will helps you develop healthy habits.

    Aging can leave you isolated, even unintendedly. If you're no longer driving or if you live in a remote area, or family live in another state there are community-based agencies and services that provide transportation services, adult programming to help you engage and spend quality time within your community.


    Physical exercise comes with a host of anti-aging benefits. It decreases your risk of a wide variety of illnesses while helping your body move and feel better. It also helps your brain by improving blood flow and lowering stress. Various studies have shown improvements in memory and thinking among people who exercise regularly. You don't necessarily have to join the local fitness club or community center, though that may be a great way to build a social network!

    Eat Well 

    Your body, including your brain is fueled by the food you eat. Naturally, good nutrition supports the entire system. Studies have indicated that folate and B vitamins play a role in slowing cognitive decline, and an overall healthy diet lowers inflammation and the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses that impact cognition. Eat a diet rich in nutrient-dense vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats while limiting sugar—your body and your brain will benefit. 

    Brain health is key to healthy aging and an improved quality of life.

    Church Home LifeSpring is committed to exceed normal caregiving as an experienced provider of short-term and long-term rehabilitation services to the Middle Georgia community. Contact us if we can assist you or a loved one.

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