Lost your keys? Not sure why you walked into the kitchen? Blanked on a cousin’s name, or forgot a friend’s birthday?
Many adults, regardless of age, can encounter some – or all – of these scenarios. While every person ages differently, the physical changes that develop in older adulthood – such as loss of white matter in the brain and reduced neural connectivity – can result in common problems with remembering details and adapting to change.
Don’t get discouraged. While there’s no cure-all for perfect memory, you still have plenty of options when it comes to maintaining mental acuity:
- Keep active. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Fitness is key to a healthy lifestyle. When you get your heart rate up – by playing a round of tennis, biking, going for a swim, working in the garden or heading out for a brisk stroll – you’re boosting the flow of nutrients and oxygen to your brain.Exercise promotes the production of serotonin and endorphins, two chemicals that can improve mood, memory and focus – as well as neurotrophins, which stimulate the growth of new brain cells. Over the long term, studies show that physical activity can reduce the risk of dementia by 30% or more.
- Keep connected. Have you ever felt “too stressed to think straight?” That’s not surprising: Self-care, social connection, and emotional wellness are at the root of cognitive health.Take time throughout your day to relax and reflect. Connect with friends and family through phone calls and video calls. Volunteer for a good cause. (Yes, you can do that from home!) Get plenty of sleep, and check out our tips for managing stress at home.
- Keep learning. Your brain isn’t so different from a muscle: It needs regular exercise to stay in shape. Studies show that most kinds of learning – but especially developing new skills – are linked to better cognitive health throughout life.If you’re spending more time at home, it’s a good time to try something new. Audit a free college course Learn to play a musical instrument, study a language, or master a strategic game like chess, Go or bridge.
Not sure where to start? Join The Glenridge for our all-new virtual Art of Flourishing Speaker Series this summer.
On July 23, world-renowned expert Teepa Snow will present on the many roles of the Boomer generation in society. Drawing from her deep knowledge of cognitive health, and with a touch of humor, Snow will lead attendees through a nuanced exploration of age and wellness. (You can register for the event by clicking here.)
At The Glenridge, we know it’s never too late to learn. With an ever-changing array of lifelong learning classes, educational programs and seminars through our Glenridge Academy, our members enjoy an ideal environment for intellectual and creative growth. To learn more, contact our Life Planning Team here, or give us a call at 941-552-5338 to set up your virtual appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!