As more and more people live longer, the numbers of those with cognitive impairment are increasing. Today more than 6 million Americans are living with dementia.
An aspect of aging that has always been a benefit in senior living is socialization. We have seen that benefit for clients we have served over the years. However, with the pandemic, we saw the negative effects of not having socialization. We saw this not just in senior living but across the nation and world. Many seniors with some memory loss unfortunately declined during the pandemic because of lack of socialization. Being more isolated whether in their homes or in senior living can take a toll.
Activity to Engage Your Brain
Experts agree that there are three areas to focus on to maintain a healthy brain. We list socialization first to emphasize it’s importance as we age.
Social activity: As we age, a key to keeping oour brain stimulated is through engaging with others . There are engaging with others. There are new devices on the market to help us do that if distance or infection concerns are an issue. A client recently told me she purchased a device from Viewclix.com so she can communicate with her mom who is in memory care.
Cognitive activity: keeping you brain cognitively fit whether through board games, reading, learning something new like an instrument or language is important. Make it something you enjoy so you are doing it regularly. Maybe it’s going back to an old activity that you stopped doing that you used to enjoy or picking up a new hobby.
Physical activity: Staying physically active is important as well. What is good for our heart is good for our brain. Aerobic exercise is needed to get our blood pumping. 30 minutes, 5 times a week of moderate activity is recommended. Be advised you should not start an exercise program without consulting with your physician.
Know the Signs of Memory Loss
If you are concerned that a loved one may be experiencing memory loss check out the early signs here. Twelve to sixteen percent of those over 60 may have mild cognitive impairment(MCI). Learn more about MCI here.