Can you think of anything more incredible than the human brain? And in spite of how medically progressive we currently are, so much of the brain’s intricate complexity is still untapped. There’s one thing we are aware of, however: ability to draw from memories naturally begins to decline with aging. Yet, it’s also been discovered that this process can be reversed through neuroplasticity – the ability of our brain to, amazingly, create new pathways and modify existing ones to enhance cognitive functioning, and actually improve memory.
In spite of how complicated it may seem, there are, in fact, some simple ways to help foster these positive changes:
- Engage in brain enrichment activities. The most effective activities will teach you something new, challenge you, allow you to build up skill level, and provide an emotional reward for engaging in them. Try learning a new language, playing a new instrument, or exploring the arts. And forego those online programs that promise to improve memory or IQ level; studies indicate that they’re not effective.
- Get moving. Aerobic exercise raises the level of oxygen delivered to your brain, and exercises that require the use of motor skills or hand-eye coordination are particularly helpful.
- Make sure you’re sleeping well. Many of us tend to get far less sleep than the amount recommended, and too little sleep affects us negatively in a variety of ways – brain health included. Try to sleep 8 – 9 hours every night, on a routine basis.
- Surprisingly, brain health gets a big boost simply by engaging in healthy relationships with others. For older adults who face isolation, some options include volunteering, joining a class or club, or utilizing the services of a trusted in-home care companion, such as those at Live Free Home Health Care.
- Lower stress. Unmanaged stress can damage both brain cells and the hippocampus – the section of the brain responsible for memory. It’s important to designate time each day to relax: taking some quiet time to read a book, meditate or pray, listen to soothing music, etc.
For more resources on helping the older adults in your life to improve memory and enjoy a higher quality of life, contact Live Free Home Health Care, providers of home health services in Bristol and throughout the surrounding areas. We offer transportation and accompaniment services to allow seniors to get out and try new things, encourage participation in fitness programs, provide cheerful companionship to reminisce, participate in favorite activities and interests together, play games and cards, and more, according to each person’s interests. Call us at 603-217-0149 to learn more! For a full list of the communities where we provide care, visit our Service Area page.