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Keeping Your Mind Sharp as You Age
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Keeping Your Mind Sharp as You Age

Steps Older Adults Can Take Every Day

Many older adults become concerned with mental decline as they age. It is important to focus on engaging your brain and staying mentally active. Fortunately, there are steps we can all take every day to keep our minds sharp.

Keep Learning

If we remain open to learning, we continue to challenge our brain. While you could read about a new subject or even take an online course, there are other ways to keep learning as we age:

  • Discover a new hobby, like painting, doing crossword puzzles, or playing a card game.

  • Learn a new skill, such as knitting or bird watching.

  • Volunteer, if possible, to help serve other residents or the local community.

Use Brain Energy Wisely

How many of us cannot remember where we put our keys or recall the exact time of an upcoming medical appointment? Do not strain yourself to remember every detail of your daily life. Instead, set yourself up for success by using all the tools available to you—from smartphone calendars and physical planners to folders and address books. Create designated spots or organizational systems for frequently used items, like glasses, keys, or important paperwork, so you can easily locate them when you need them.

Socialize Regularly

Even in this time of social distancing, we can still be social while maintaining safe physical distance. As much as possible, take the time to call a loved one or friend, join in an activity in your community, or write a letter to send “snail mail.” Not only is regular socialization important for your brain, but it is good for your spirit and well-being.

Engage Your Senses

Many of our memories are tied to certain smells—some good, some more odorous! But when we engage our senses, we are more likely to recall key details and memories. From listening to music to taking in the smells of a garden, incorporate your senses in your daily life and activities. 

Maintain Good Health

Keep in mind that diet and exercise play a significant role in your mental acuity. We recommend consulting your primary care physician for his or her advice regarding your specific exercise regimen and diet and to help you make any necessary changes that will improve your overall mental health and well-being.

Remember You Are Strong

We have all heard the jokes about someone having a “senior moment” when they cannot recall a person’s name or where they placed something. While we must work to keep our brains sharp as we age, we also need to believe in our ability to successfully do so. 

Rather than believing in stereotypes regarding memory and seniors, remember that working daily to improve your mental capacities is not a wasted effort and will only help you keep your mind sharp. The team at McGregor is here to support you and provide additional guidance and resources. Feel free to contact our team at any time.

TALK WITH OUR TEAM

 

Information for this article was sourced from:
Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School
Everyday Health


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