Skip to Main Content
Google Plus Logo
Home Nursing Services
At Home Therapies
Home Care FAQ
Bereavement & Grief
Hospice & Alzheimers
Hospice Pet Therapy
Special Care Programs
Your Care Team
Specialized Home Care
Patient-Centered Dementia Care
Congestive Heart Failure
Hypertension / Blood Pressure
Coronary Artery Disease
Mental Health and Depression
Home Care Support for Multiple Sclerosis
Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
Traumatic Brain Injury
Our Standard of Care
Caring Brands International
Aging in Place
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Health Aide
8 Dietary Tips for Improving Senior Heart Health
Talking About Substance Abuse as a Caregiver
How to Take Care of Aging Hair
4 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality for Seniors
Designing Outdoor Living Areas for Seniors
Getting A Grip: How and Where to Install Bathroom Grab Bars
Keeping Active: Tips for Senior Gardening
Alzheimer's and Dementia
Calculating the Cost
Certified Senior Advisors
Consumer Health Care Education
Advisor Care Giving Guide
Care in a Residential Facility
Check Your Home Care IQ
Elder Care Communities
Medicare and Home Care
Senior Care Resources
Senior Care Scams
Signs That Care At Home is Needed
Long Term Care
Mobility in Seniors
Home Safety Checklist
Home Safety Tips
Medications and Fall Risk
Reduce the Risk of Falling
Risk of Falling
Visiting the Doctor and Discussing Falls
What to Do If Someone Falls
Elder Care Videos
Hiring Your Own Caregivers
Family Care Giving Facts
Information for Seniors
Long Distance Caregiving
Starting the Conversation
The Stress of Family Caregiving
Taking Care Of Yourself as a Family Caregiver
Home Care Technology
Hospice Fact or Myth
Exercise and Older Adults
Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure
Seniors and Zika Virus
Stories From Home
Transitioning from a Facility
Independent Living Assessment
5 small steps you can take to boost memory and brain health
5 small steps you can take to boost memory and brain health
Posted: 6/7/2019 8:00 AM by
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and with nearly 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease today, taking action to boost our memory and brain health is especially important.
As with many profound health changes, boosting your memory and brain health starts with small steps. These five (5) actionable steps can make a profound impact:
1. Eat a healthy diet.
There’s a reason eating a healthy diet is on just about every list on this blog (and other health sites for seniors) -- the number one way to improve health for any of us is to eat a healthy diet!
Research shows that diets high in fat and cholesterol can speed up the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. These sticky protein clusters are blamed for much of the damage that occurs in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.
Avoiding foods high in fat and cholesterol, and focusing on a diet comprised of primarily whole, plant foods can have a tremendous impact on your overall and brain health. In particular, berries are loaded with memory-boosting antioxidants (and are a terrific, healthy dessert or snack!) and sources of omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and many types of fish have been shown to boost brain health.
Exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand. Together, they are your best superpowers to defeat or prevent many health issues. In particular, exercise can have a tremendous impact on brain health and memory.
Exercise boosts oxygen supply to your brain, and enhances the effects of positive brain chemicals while reducing stress hormones. In particular, exercise boosts growth factors and stimulates new neuronal connections, playing a critical role in neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections.
Stress hormones like cortisol have been linked to decreased memory and brain health. High amounts of cortisol have been linked to decreased memory and even brain shrinkage in adults. Elevated cortisol is also linked to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases - stress impacts our entire bodies!
Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and provide many health benefits to adults, and particularly seniors. A 2014 review of several studies found that meditation helped preserve cognitive function in seniors who are starting to have difficulties with memory and cognition. Meditation is also linked to reduced stress and inflammation, lower blood pressure, and much more.
Not sure where to get started? Apps like Calm and Headspace have free meditations to try. Or to start, simply sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes, and slowly breathe in and exhale, while focusing on your breath.
4. Get enough sleep.
A vast majority of adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep in order to avoid sleep deprivation. Even a small dip in sleep can lead to memory deprivation and a host of other issues.
During sleep, our bodies perform many restorative tasks, including memory consolidation of new memories each day. Focusing on high-quality sleep every night is critical to empower your brain to do its job for memory health.
Setting (and sticking to) a regular sleep schedule can help, as can avoiding screens (including the TV) for at least an hour before bed. Avoid eating or drinking after dinner, which can exacerbate acid reflux issues, and keep the bedroom cool and dark to support healthy sleep.
5. Give your brain a workout.
Just like with any muscle, the phrase “use it or lose it” comes into play for brain health. Our brains are designed to take the shortest possible path toward a goal. From childhood on, that means our brains have cleared millions of neural pathways for repetitive tasks.
But to keep our brains sharp, we should forge new neural pathways, in essence, giving our brains a workout. Puzzles, reading, developing new hobbies and skills can all contribute to better brain health.
Keep your senior loved ones healthy and protected.
If Mom or Dad is suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or other similar conditions,
specialized senior home care
can help provide your loved one with critical care and support, while alleviating some of the stress and burden on family caregivers. To learn more,
contact your local Interim HealthCare location