One of the most prominent fears when it comes to aging is memory loss. In fact, a recent national poll reveals that a lot of Americans in their 50s and early 60s are increasingly afraid of dwindling brain health, particularly if they have relatives who have suffered from dementia.
However, it’s very much possible to retain the basic aspects of your memory and keep your brain healthy as you age. Here, we list down four tips that can help you age gracefully while maintaining optimal brain function.
Exercise your brain
The brain is like a muscle — the more you exercise it, the sharper it gets. When you stimulate your mind through various mental challenges and exercises, you also enhance the connective tissue between the neurons in your brain, which then encourages it to function better. What’s more, a study by psychiatry researchers notes that constant cognitive training through brain exercises can help protect you against cognitive decline and dementia. So, be sure to seek out mentally challenging activities such as learning a foreign language or trying out a musical instrument.
See your healthcare provider regularly
A good reason why you should go in for regular check-ups is to find any potential health issues before they become a huge problem. So be sure to take note of any neurological problems you’ve experienced recently, such as disorientation, a sudden inability to complete easy activities, and short-term memory loss. Raising this with a general practitioner or neurologist allows for the early diagnosis of conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Another capable health professional who you should approach when it comes to brain issues are neurology nurses. These practitioners have finished a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited RN to BSN program to gain extensive skills in neurology, research, patient assessment, as well as physical rehabilitation. This allows them to be more involved in the different aspects of neurological care, such as assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients. In addition, neurology nurses are at the frontlines of neurological care today, as telemedicine remains to be the only option for those stuck at home due to the pandemic. So if you’re afraid of not being able to physically visit a clinic for a check-up, you can opt for telemedicine services and update your healthcare provider about the current state of your brain and neurological health.
Limit your alcohol consumption and quit smoking
It is well documented that various substances found in cigarette smoke, such as nicotine, tar, and formaldehyde can badly damage your brain. In addition, drinking too much alcohol regularly can also be toxic to your brain. Because of these, you should do your best to be tobacco-free and limit your alcohol consumption. If you find it difficult to quit these vices and live a healthier lifestyle, you should talk to your healthcare providers so they can refer you to an alcohol or smoking cessation program.
Don’t forget to stay social
Stress, depression, and anxiety can contribute to the decline of your memory. To help you overcome these challenges, you should try to be more social and interact with people who can keep you engaged and interested. Brain atrophy is known to be connected to solitary, so social interaction can help you fight feelings of loneliness, improve the state of your mental health, and eventually strengthen your brain as you age.
Aging gracefully means taking care of your physical and mental health. Following the tips we’ve listed above can help you keep your brain sharp as you enter older adulthood. If you find yourself saying worrying things such as, “I can’t focus.” or “I can’t concentrate”, we have many insightful posts.
Article written for hapbee.com by Denise Paul
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