Aging is an unavoidable part of life. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to stay active and engaged as an older adult. While some cognitive decline may be unavoidable, you or an aging loved one can take proactive steps to stay sharp when entering the golden years. Here are five practices to improve cognitive health and wellness in advanced age.
1. Learn New Skills
Staying engaged through consistent learning is one of the best ways to keep your mind nimble. Learning something new stimulates a process known as “brain plasticity”, which creates new neural pathways and is a key to strong cognitive health. Perhaps you’ll want to learn how to play an instrument or pursue a foreign language. Maybe you’d like to take up crochet or give digital photography a try. Reviving an old skill can also have a positive effect on brain performance.
2. Play Mind Games
Another path to active aging involves performing activities that focus heavily on using your mind. Hobbies like reading, solving word games, working a puzzle or playing chess keep your brain engaged on a regular basis. Such pursuits can improve short-term memory, decision-making and problem-solving skills.
3. Stay Social
Humans are a social bunch, and there are many benefits to spending time with others. Not only is it good for your mental health and emotional well-being, social activity can also enhance cognition. So grab a cup of tea with a friend, join a club, schedule time with family and maintain connections that make you happy.
4. Maintain a Routine
Your brain requires some novelty to function its best, but familiarity can also prove beneficial when it comes to cognitive function by providing a sense of stability and comfort. Set a morning routine you can count on that involves habits like making coffee, reading the news or going for a walk. Choose a day to run your errands. Anything that provides structure to your life can help.
5. Eat and Sleep Well
Physical health is linked to cognitive wellness, so you’ll want to be sure to engage in healthy living habits. Consuming a good mix of nutritious foods and drinking plenty of water can help your brain stay healthy. It’s also recommended that older adults get at least eight hours of regular sleep each night. You can promote sleep hygiene by setting a regular bedtime, engaging in mindfulness practices like meditation and reducing screen time before bed.
Visit The Wellington
If you’re currently considering seniors living for yourself or a loved one, contact The Wellington to book a tour. In addition to our lovely and comfortable accommodations, our retirement community can take advantage of a wide range of activities and events to stimulate their mind and help them stay active.