Protecting Against Cognitive Decline

Your brain changes with age, including changes in mental and cognitive function. And, unfortunately, while there currently is no cure for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, there are many steps you can take to improve or minimize the cognitive decline in yourself or your loved one.

Exercise

Regular exercise offers your body an array of health benefits. Aside from improving your body’s wound-healing process, preventing disease and fostering greater independence, regular exercise may even help ward off cognitive decline and dementia. Some studies even show that engaging in a regular exercise program can improve cognitive function in those currently living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that individuals age 65 and older try to incorporate at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise into each week. While this may sound like a lot, breaking it down into 10- or 15-minute chunks of exercise two or more times a day can make it much more manageable. Think about finding a simple way to exercise right when you wake up, before or after you eat lunch, and again before you get ready for bed.  

Sleep

According to an article published by the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), approximately half of older adults report sleep disturbance, which is associated with various health conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases and Dementia. This article also notes that 60 to 70 percent of individuals living with cognitive impairment or dementia have sleep disturbance, which is linked to poorer disease prognosis.

Receiving good-quality and consistent sleep is vital to the overall health and function of your body. Our bodies rely on a certain amount of sleep for a variety of brain functions, so doing your best to sleep seven to eight hours every night is very important for maintaining cognitive function.

Mental and Social Stimulation

Participating in regular mental stimulation, such as reading, working on puzzles, and playing trivia or board games, are all associated with a decreased risk of cognitive decline. According to Alzheimer’s Discovery, lifelong learning is associated with cognitive health, and higher levels of cognitive activity at mid- or late-life are linked to delayed onset of cognitive impairment.

In addition to mental stimulation, social stimulation is equally as important. According to The World Health Organization (WHO) for Preventing Cognitive Decline, social isolation is a big risk factor for dementia and social participation and support are strongly connected with overall health and well-being.

-

At Prestige Senior Living, we’re here to help support and guide you through the memory care journey. If you or someone you know is living with dementia, consider contacting one of our memory care communities today.