Helping Your Parent’s Brain Stay Active

Senior Care in Mississauga: Helping Your Parent’s Brain Stay Active

The term “use it or lose it” is often applied to the muscles of the human body, but the same holds true for the brain. Just as with your body, physical and mental fitness as well as a good brain-healthy diet can keep one’s brain functioning at its peak, even in its aging years. Scientific studies support that keeping the brain active reduces the chance of developing Alzheimer’s as well as other forms of dementia.

Brain Games

Brain games require focused attention and pulling from one’s memory banks. Ones to consider are Sudoku, crosswords, puzzles and word games. Get out the Scrabble or Chess and make it a weekly family get-together that encourages engagement as well as mental fitness. Social engagement has been shown to be an important factor in lowering the risk of dementia. One study, conducted over the course of 4 years on 700 individuals, found that those who were involved with everyday activities such as reading the newspaper, playing puzzle games and visiting museums had a 47 percent lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s than those that did not undertake these types of activities on a regular basis.

Sleep

I know you’re wondering what sleep has to do with an active brain, but it’s during sleep that the brain, and the rest of the body, recharge, rejuvenate and heal. Lack of a good night’s sleep on a regular basis has been associated with increased levels of the protein beta amyloid in the brain—one of the biomarkers of Alzheimer’s.

Exercise

According to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, exercise can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 50 percent. A combination of aerobic and resistance training is recommended for at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. If your parent has sore and aching joints or balance issues that are keeping them from walking, biking or partaking in other types of exercise, guide them toward one of the many activities that are geared for seniors undergoing these types of physical limitations. This may include a water aerobics class at the local YMCA or a tai chi class at the local senior community center.

Diet

While diet doesn’t really fall into an “activity” category, it does fall into the important lifestyle changes that reduce the chance of developing Alzheimer’s as one ages. According to a Health Guide in Harvard Health Publications, “In Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation and insulin resistance injure neurons and inhibit communication between brain cells. Alzheimer’s is sometimes described as ‘diabetes of the brain’.” A Mediterranean diet filled with fish, vegetables, beans, whole grains, olive oil and nuts and seeds is definitely a brain-healthy diet. In addition, cut back on processed and packaged foods that often contain white flour, sugar and hydrogenated fats.

Senior Care Provider

A senior care provider can assist with daily activities while helping your parent remain engaged, active and eating healthy, nutritious foods. They provide the companionship so essential to the elderly as they traverse through their aging years.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Mississauga, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.

Resources

https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/preventing-alzheimers-disease/search-alzheimers-prevention-strategies

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/preventing-alzheimers-disease.htm

About Susan Di Michele

We have a team of dedicated healthcare professionals. We strongly believe in improving health and wellness of individuals, their families, and communities. Through nurturance, gentleness and compassion, our team strives to shine a light on what it takes to be role models of caring practice.
Our mission is to support a society in which respect for the rights and dignity of people is a practical reality in all areas of life, where discrimination is a thing of the past, and where a positive view of ill and aging people prevails. We strive to ensure that every individual is informed, supported and encouraged to embrace a lifestyle that has continued meaning, purpose and value. Together these actions genuinely empower and respect individuals’ abilities to make independent choices based on their personal interests, capacities and needs.
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