Promoting Brain Health in Older Adults
Understanding Cognitive Health and Its Importance
Many of us think about our health and wellness on a daily basis: Am I going to have time to exercise today? Am I choosing the right foods? Did I remember to take my vitamins? But we may not often think specifically about our brain health.
Brain health encompasses several areas:
- Motor function (which affects your balance)
- Emotional function (responding to emotions)
- Tactile function (responding to touch)
- Cognitive health
Cognitive health—defined by the National Institute on Aging as “the ability to clearly think, learn, and remember”—is very important for older adults. If you are concerned about protecting your cognitive health as you age, there is good news: There are many small changes and steps you can make on a daily basis that may improve your cognitive functioning.
- Prioritize your physical health. Incorporate more movement into your day, whether that is a short walk, gardening, or taking a virtual yoga class.
- Eat a healthy diet. While you should follow your physician’s guidance, consider eating more whole grains to boost your dietary fiber intake.
- Exercise your mind. Find ways to keep your mind active, such as engaging in a hobby like photography or quilting, volunteering for a local organization or charity, or reading books and doing puzzles.
- Practice being social. As we head toward the fall and winter seasons, it is important to maintain your connections with friends, family, and neighbors.
- Reduce your stress levels. Try to be present, practice gratitude, and journal to help release your current worries and anxieties.
If your current living situation does not promote your overall brain health, consider whether it is time to benefit from aging services in your community. McGregor’s mission is to promote the independence, quality of life, and overall health of our residents—this includes providing ample opportunities for you to stay active, make social connections, and reduce your daily stress.
Explore our living options and reach out to our team with any questions.