Cognitive and mental health tips for seniors

Cognitive and mental health tips for seniors

Are you aware that 20% of adults aged 55 years and above have experienced some sort of mental health issue but yet a good number of them do not receive treatment? As the age changes, so does the brain and so does mental function change with it. Mental decline and cognitive impairment are one of the scariest consequences of aging and most times are inevitable. A marked decline in mental abilities could be as a result of factors like prescribed medications or certain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

Effects of age on the brain could include;

  • Neurones that experience cell death are not replaced; hence the brain gets smaller with age.
  • Fats and some other deposits gets accumulated within the cells of the brain thus, hindering proper functioning of the brain.
  • Messages are relayed between neurones at slower speed than when younger.

Conditions that can damage brain function

A good number of conditions common to old age can affect brain functionality. These conditions include;

  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Dehydration

Tips to improve the mental and cognitive health

The statistics on mental illness and cognitive impairment is not trifling but it’s not one that cannot be managed with the right knowledge and appropriate vigilance.

  • Connect with friends and loved ones

Time, age and distance factor may make it difficult for the aged to keep close contact with old friends but staying connected can help keep away loneliness and feelings of isolation. It can also help do away with depression as well as decline in mental and physical function.

  • Continue with an old hobby or pick a new one

It is important for the seniors to maintain a routine. Boredom could set in after retirement if not replaced with a fun hobby. You could go for gardening, painting, sewing, cooking or even knitting! As a senior, you might also find fulfilment in volunteering for a cause.

  • Eat healthy

A healthy diet proves to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and help keep the brain healthy. The diet for a senior should consist of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, less salt, whole grains, lean meats, poultry and fish.

  • Be physically and mentally active

Through regular exercise, household activities, running little errands, you improve your strength and energy. You can engage your mind intellectually by learning new skills, joining a volunteer service, playing certain games etc. these would help keep your mind active.

  • Take care of your general well being

Take care of your physical health by obtaining AARP medicare advantage plans 2019 from chronic health issues you have, going for health screenings especially the ones recommended by your physician, limit the use of alcohol and cigarettes, always consult with your healthcare provider and ensure you get enough sleep.