Everything changes as we age including our brain and mental functions. It is very common as we get older and something that many people fear. The good news is that cognitive impairment isn’t inevitable. In fact according to the Alzheimer’s Society keeping your brain active can reduce your risk of developing dementia. Here are a few ways you can help to reduce your risk of developing age related memory loss and reducing your risk of dementia.
Get mental stimulation
Try some new things that require mental effort and manual dexterity. You could try to draw, paint or learn a new language. Read regularly and do mental gymnastics like word puzzles, Sudoku and number games. Jigsaws are also good for maintaining visual spatial awareness. All these activities help stimulate existing and new connections between nerve cells and keep your mind stimulated and active.
Exercise the grey matter and keep your mind sharp!
Care for your emotions
Caring for your emotions is a critical part of maintaining a healthy mind. Learn to identify what makes you feel sad, frustrated or angry in your life. Can you avoid situations that make you feel that way or can you talk to someone about the feelings you are experiencing? If you are worried about your emotional health talk to a loved one or your GP.
The old adage that laughter is the best medicine is actually true! Laughing decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals.
Good mental health and restful sleep are important goals to aim for.
Build Social networks
Strong social ties have been associated with lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy. Being involved socially is mental stimulation and is as important as other ways of keeping our brain active.
There are lots of opportunities throughout Fareham and Gosport to keep socially active from interest clubs like Bridge or Singing to Lunch Clubs and Tea Clubs. There are indoor and outdoor bowls clubs, knitting groups and fitness and dance groups.
Home Instead Fareham has researched and published a “What’s On Where” Guide for older people listing over 100 events and activities that are monthly weekly or often more frequently. To receive a free copy of the guide ring us on 01329 282 469.
It may be the first step to making new friends, feeling better about yourself and keeping your brain active – all the things that work to maintain a healthy mind!