We all know the many benefits to remaining physically active as we grow older – reduced risk of stroke and heart attack, obesity, diabetes, and more. But it’s equally important to keep our brains active and healthy, and since September is Healthy Aging Month, the staff at Hearts at Home In-Home Care know it’s the perfect time to run through this quick checklist to ensure that we and our senior loved ones are taking the necessary steps to stretch and strengthen our minds.
1. Keep moving. Exercise is a key factor in the growth of new brain cells and restoration of those in need of repair. Not only that, but it contributes to our state of alertness and productivity throughout the day, according to Owen Carmichael, Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s associate professor and director of biomedical imaging.
2. Keep learning. Earning a college degree should never signal the end of our education, and continuous learning is imperative to a healthy brain. The good news is, any kind of learning at all is beneficial, whether that’s an advanced calculus course or simply picking up a new hobby such as knitting, a musical instrument, or a new language. It can even include such new accomplishments as learning to write or comb your hair with your non-dominant hand.
3. Keep calm. In the midst of staying physically and mentally alert and active, it’s important to incorporate plenty of downtime to relax and to ensure adequate amounts of sleep. Set aside designated time each day for calming, enjoyable activities such as reading, writing in a journal, spending time outdoors, etc.
4. Keep a healthy diet. Help to protect your brain against risk of disease and cognitive impairment with a diet high in monounsaturated fats (such as those found in avocados and olive oil) and low in saturated fats (such as butter, cheese and beef).
5. Keep social. A recent study linked isolation and decreased socialization with an increased risk of dementia. Plan regular lunch dates, card games, and get-togethers with friends and family, and join a club or activity to develop new friendships.
Hearts at Home In-Home Care’s Overland Park home care services can help in a variety of ways to keep seniors active, engaged and thriving! Our fully trained, experienced and friendly senior care specialists are skilled in providing companionship to enhance socialization, preparing delicious, nutritious meals, offering safe, reliable transportation and accompaniment to exercise programs, classes and activities of interest, and so much more! Celebrate Healthy Aging Month by contacting us at 913-440-4209 to learn more about how our customized in-home care services can enhance quality of life for your senior loved one!