Published: May 15, 2017
A Complex Organ
When it comes to exploring the brain, it would seem that with each breakthrough the scientific community makes, new unprecedented questions arise. While this is certainly positive in that it allows research to become more focused, it also illuminates the fact that the brain is vastly and endlessly complex.
In spite of all of its mysteries, one thing we do know is that the brain – like all of our organs – does indeed age. As we get older, the brain’s overall volume gradually decreases (at approximately 5% per decade after the age of 40), causing nerve cells to lose certain connections. Reduction in blood flow and certain cardiovascular conditions can add to this as well.
For seniors, these factors may lead to occasional forgetfulness or lapses in memory. Significant memory loss, however, is not a normal part of aging and may be indicative of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. If your aging loved ones are experiencing memory loss or have had problems with language skills, perception, or other mental functions, it’s imperative that you address these concerns with a physician.
Ways to Keep the Brain Healthy
Research has indicated that there are several ways that older adults (and those of all ages) can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline – many of which are beneficial for other aspects of the body. Encourage your aging loved ones to incorporate the following best practices into their lifestyle. Be sure that, prior to beginning any new exercise regimen or diet, your loved ones consult with a physician and dietician.
What unifies all of these best practices for maintaining brain health? The key, as countless scientific studies would suggest, is engagement. In this case, it means getting out and meeting new people versus staying inside and watching TV, choosing to find healthy alternatives to cheap fast food, and finding ways to help not only yourself but those in your community as well.
Comfort Keepers® Can Help
If your loved ones are working to improve their mental wellbeing and want to incorporate the aforementioned best practices into their lifestyle, we can help. In addition to companionship services, our caregivers can provide safe, reliable transportation to your loved ones’ destinations. Whether they need to get to the community center to visit friends or to the grocery store for the week’s supply of nutritious food, we can help them get there safely. To learn more about Comfort Keepers®’ caregiving services, call your local office today.
Harvard Health Publications. “12 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young.” Web. 2006.
Everyday Health. “How to Stay Sharp As You Age” by Krisha McCoy. Web. 2017.
Brain Facts. “What We Know – and Don’t Know – About Aging.” Web. 2012.
National Institute on Aging. “The Aging Brain.” Web. 2017.