Healthy Aging for the Brain

February 11, 2019
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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You’ve likely heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it” in a number of situations. Did you know: this very same phrase may also apply to your mental abilities?

A study conducted by Dr. Merzenich, professor emeritus at the University of California, explains this theory in relation to the brain: “The brain changes physically, functionally and chemically, as you acquire a new ability or as you improve an ability. If you don’t sufficiently challenge your brain with new, surprising information, it eventually begins to deteriorate.”

4 Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Age

Given this information, it’s evident the importance of keeping our brains stimulated, especially as we age. Here are a few simple ways to do so:

1. Learn Something New

If you hope to adopt one habit this year, gear toward learning something new every day. Whether you read a book, join an educational program or learn a new language, keeping your brain stimulated at all times is one of the best ways to protect yourself from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

2. Challenge Yourself

In addition to learning something new, be sure to give your brain a challenge every once in a while. Word games, trivia, puzzles, and other mental activities help the brain grow and create new connections. For an interesting list of brain games that test memory, attention, and language skills, take a look at this Brain Games collection from AARP.

Related article: 6 Mind Stimulating Activities & Cognitive Games for Seniors

3. Volunteer

Volunteer work is healthy for the mind, body, and soul, but in a recent study summarized in an Oprah article, it may even help improve cognitive function. The Johns Hopkins study found that older women who tutored children for six months developed sharper cognitive skills. This is because the teaching activities stimulate the prefrontal cortex, responsible for analyzing, planning, and problem-solving.

4. Be Social

Staying social is crucial to your overall health and well being. In fact, according to the same article from Oprah, a Harvard University study of 16,638 people found that those individuals with large social networks had the slowest rate of memory decline. Taking part in volunteer activities or educational classes may help you connect with others in the community and become more social.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care Services in Florida

Keeping loved ones active and healthy is imperative, but for busy caregivers and family members, it’s not always that simple. Care Options for Kids specializes in providing quality, cost-conscious private care referral services for clients in their homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and more.

Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or request a free in-home consultation. Together we can determine the best plan of action for your family.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today (888) 592-5855.