Did you know June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness month? We put together a guide to help you and your loved ones understand the importance of brain health. No matter your age, brain health is very important!
Middle-aged people tend to have the most brain changes or cognitive decline. The earlier you adopt these tips into your lifestyle, the better. As we age, our risk of mild cognitive impairment increases. While this may just lead to the occasional forgetting a word or where you placed something, mild cognitive impairment can lead to Dementia and/or Alzheimer’s down the road.
The Importance of a Healthy Brain
Brain health should be your top priority because our brains control how we think and act. Our brains regulate the well-being of our entire body, inside and out. According to Your Brain Matters, scientific research has shown that leading a brain healthy life may lead to a reduced risk in developing Dementia later on in life. Additionally, other illnesses may also be reduced such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Healthy Brain, Healthy Life
Below are some tips to help make sure you are doing everything you can for yourself or a loved one to have the healthiest brain possible:
- Stay Connected. Socialize, socialize, socialize. Engage in conversation with others and spend time with family and friends. Isolation can often lead to depression and cause forgetfulness.
- Join a club to engage in a hobby with others.
- Schedule a weekly coffee date with a friend.
- Attend a social event or gathering.
- Go shopping and talk with people in line.
2. Eat Healthy. Remember what you put in your body affects every single organ. Your brain needs different nutrients to work best. You can get these from various foods:
- Eat foods high in antioxidants (beans, berries, nuts).
- Lower your intake of saturated fat.
- Limit fried and sugary foods.
3. Rest. Easier said than done, right? Rest is essential for your brain’s overall health. 8 hours of sleep per night is ideal; but good, quality sleep during those hours is the real recipe for rest.
- Avoid using electronics before bed.
- Allow your body time to relax before bed.
- Take a warm bath.
- Make sure your room is a comfortable temperature.
- Use blackout curtains or blinds to block out light.
- Use a white noise machine to block out sound.
4. Take Control of Chronic Illnesses. Many people don’t realize a healthy brain starts with a healthy heart. Make sure you have your weight, diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure under control. Always take medications as prescribed and at the appropriate times. Not properly taking care of or prioritizing your physical health can lead to brain issues down the road.
5. Workout Your Body. You don’t need to run 10 miles a day to keep your brain happy and healthy. Find an activity that you enjoy to get you moving. A few, simple ways to stay active include:
- Taking a brisk walk
6. Workout Your Brain. Keeping your body active is important, but keeping your mind active is just as critical. Think of your brain like you do your muscles; if you don’t use them, you lose them. Your brain can’t have new cell growth if it’s not being challenged regularly:
- Read up on current events.
- Challenge yourself to crossword puzzles.
- Play games (e.g. Sodoku math puzzles).
- Read books.
How Home Care Can Help
As stated earlier, our bodies begin to develop a cognitive decline over time. Declines can be gradual or sudden, but a customized plan is necessary for proper care. If you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, we are here to help.
At Commonwise Home Care, we provide specialized care plans tailored to each individual’s specific needs. A personalized care plan may include help with socialization/companionship, food preparation, controlling current illness, and medication management. All of these are key to keeping the brain healthy.
Home care can also assist someone who is just starting to show early signs of cognitive impairment. To find out how Commonwise can help put together a care plan that’s right for you or a loved one, please call 434.202.8565 today.