5 Ways Seniors Can Boost Cognitive Health at Home
Overall brain health depends on several factors, including motor, cognitive, and sensory function. Cognitive health is the ability to think, learn, and remember. For seniors aging in place at home, it can be difficult to get proper stimulation to boost cognitive health and prevent mental decline. Below, we share five activities to help seniors preserve their overall brain function.
1. Staying Physically Healthy
Research shows that eating a healthy diet can boost cognitive health. A healthy diet consists of a diverse selection of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy products.
An optimal diet also includes limited processed foods, solid fats, sugars, and salt. Seniors should also stay updated on health screenings and, with the help of loved ones, manage chronic conditions like depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Limiting the risk of brain injury through falls or other accidents is also important. Caregivers should encourage family members to invest in accessibility-related improvements for homes in which seniors will age in place.
Something as simple as reading a news article can get the brain working. It's a simple and effective way to exercise one’s cognitive powers. In particular, reading requires using the imagination to translate words on paper to images in the mind.
Keeping track of the plot, characters, and setting can also help seniors strengthen their memory. Research shows that reading not only makes people more socially intelligent and empathetic but it can also prevent memory decline and boost cognitive health.
3. Maintaining or Developing New Hobbies
Meaningful hobbies don't just promote brain health. They can also increase mental wellbeing and prevent depression. These activities can include gardening, painting, cooking, or volunteering for a cause that your loved one is particularly passionate about.
Not only will such hobbies make seniors feel useful but they can also be a great way to connect with others who share similar passions. Most importantly, seniors may feel less lonely if they are part of a community of like-minded individuals.
4. Learning Something New
There are many free online classes available for seniors to take at home with their caregivers and loved ones. From the history of Rome to new languages, there are plenty of subjects available.
Coursera, an online learning platform, has several free classes that seniors can take based on their interests. These classes typically involve video lectures, readings, and short quizzes. Seniors will feel more connected to the world by keeping up with current events, advances in research, and general topics of interest.
Socializing minimizes loneliness and isolation. It can also boost cognitive health. Quarantine rules may make it difficult to see friends and family in person, but seniors can still enjoy virtual gatherings.
This can be through Zoom or FaceTime. Seniors can also play online games with friends and family. Socially distant backyard dinners and porch conversations can also be a great way to catch up with loved ones.
If you are considering home care for your loved one to age in place in North Boston, contact us. We can offer guidance in navigating the process.