It’s never too late to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Doing so can keep the brain sharp and the body fit. While it is normal for your loved one to experience some cognitive changes, there are ways to slow down or prevent memory loss.
To help caregivers learn more about brain health, The Kensington Sierra Madre is hosting a presentation on positive health habits to achieve and maintain a healthy mind. Doctors Dean and Ayesha Sherzai discuss their proactive approach to health and the profound effects of lifestyle factors on brain health. They currently lead the largest community-based brain health research initiative in the country — the Beach Cities Healthy Minds Initiative.
Healthy Habits to Adopt for Brain Health
Maintaining a healthy body and mind gives your senior loved one a chance to live a more comfortable and fulfilling life. While diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia are not curable, there are ways to reduce the chances of your loved one developing them.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can help your loved one protect their memory and live a healthier life. Through diet changes, improved sleeping habits, and exercise, the senior can experience maximum health benefits.
Adopt a healthy diet
Eating a healthy and balanced diet plays a significant role in brain health. Diets lower in fat and salt intake and higher in vegetables and fruit are the most beneficial. The western diet that many people have become accustomed to takes a toll on health and increases the chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
To give your senior loved one the best chance at a healthy life and body, you can look into changing their diet to one of the top three diets for brain health. These include The Mediterranean diet, The DASH diet, and The MIND diet.
Many memory care communities follow these diets to help seniors feel their best.
The Mediterranean diet is at the top of the list when it comes to protecting brain health. It is a relatively simple diet to follow, as it consists of mostly fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and olive oil. For those who enjoy wine, it even allows for a cup of red wine a day.
The DASH Diet
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is less strict than the Mediterranean diet. While it includes the same healthy foods, it would also allow your senior to eat sweets up to 5 times a week and eat lean meats like fish and poultry.
The MIND Diet
The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay has been found to delay cognitive aging by 7.5 years. The diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet but more detailed, emphasizing specific fruits and vegetables.
Catch some Zzz’s
Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep at night is critical for protecting brain health. While missing an occasional night of sleep or going through a brief period of insomnia isn’t likely to lead to a memory disease, persistent sleep problems can.
Missing out on sleep causes the brain to accumulate the proteins beta-amyloid and tau. A build-up of these two proteins has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The only way for the brain to eliminate this “waste” and repair itself is through sleep.
If your loved one is struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, it is essential to reach out to their physician.
For seniors already struggling with memory loss, proper sleep helps slow down their symptoms and helps them regulate their emotions. Many assisted living communities will help ensure that seniors get adequate sleep.
Successful aging requires one to live an active life. Physical and mental exercises are the key to preserving cognitive skills and lowering the risks of diseases.
Physical exercises benefit the brain by:
- Promoting cardiovascular health
- Improving blood flow to the brain
- Reducing inflammation
- Lowering levels of stress hormones
- Increasing the thickness of the cerebral cortex
Rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy, offer a senior the same benefits. Through these services and fitness activities, your senior has the opportunity to maximize their quality of life.
Challenging and stimulating the brain is one way to keep it sharp. It’s like any other muscle in the body that needs to be used. Brain boosting activities that your senior loved one can engage in are reading, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, sudoku, and card games.
Limiting television and phone games can be beneficial as well. Many of the paid apps that claim to boost memory cannot keep the promises they make. Your loved one will benefit more from games like bingo, Scrabble, and checkers.
Memory care at The Kensington Sierra Madre
Our Promise at The Kensington Sierra Madre is to love and care for your family as we do our own. We know how special your senior loved one is to you and that you want to make the best decisions for them.
We offer exceptional services that are provided by compassionate and well-trained staff. Some of these services include dining, life-enrichment activities, on-site rehabilitation, and nurses available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Kensington Sierra Madre will offer your senior loved one comfort, assistance, and multiple types of therapy. We want your loved one to thrive and maintain their health just as much as you, which is why we provide a fun and social environment, engaging with other residents promotes well-being and happiness.
We are aware that each resident comes with their own specific needs. This is why we offer two memory care neighborhoods at our memory care community, each with their own customized level of care.
Connections is the neighborhood for those in the beginning to middle stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and Haven is for those with more advanced stages of Alzheimer’s.
Contact us today if you are interested in hearing more about our beautiful and cozy memory care neighborhoods available for optimizing your senior loved one’s health.
To learn more about our exceptional assisted living and memory care at The Kensington Sierra Madre, click below or give us a call today for any questions. We promise to love and care for your family, as we do our own.