Cognitive loss in seniors: tips to slow it down
4 tips to slow down cognitive function in the elderly
Over the years, many seniors gradually lose certain cognitive functions including memory, language, judgment, and organizational and planning skills. Fortunately, in many cases, certain actions can slow this process down and protect these functions, which are vital to their autonomy.
Tip #1: A healthy and varied diet
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fish promotes good vascular health. It is a good way to prevent vascular disease, that is, diseases of the blood vessels, whose role is to protect the brain.
Tip #2: Daily physical activity
Moving around a little every day is a great way to prevent cognitive decline. No need to run 10 km or go to the gym! All physical activity is beneficial, whether that’s walking, yoga, stretching, dancing, cross-country skiing, swimming… anything at all. What’s important is to get moving and to respect your limits.
In addition to supporting cognitive health, physical activity promotes mobility, autonomy and overall health, therefore reducing the risk of falls and many diseases (arthritis, diabetes, stroke, etc.).
Tip #3: An active social life
In this pandemic context, this is not as easy. However, under normal circumstances, specialists recommend engaging in social activities to create and maintain friendships. Cercles de Fermières du Québec, Lions Club, petanque league, dance club, card evenings with friends, volunteering: whatever the activity, what matters is socializing and having fun.
What to do during the COVID outbreak? Talk on the phone, chat over Messenger, knit with 3 friends on FaceTime, etc. If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to learn the basics of technology.
Tip # 4: Cognitive activities
To keep your brain alert, we suggest engaging in stimulating hobbies such as reading, doing crosswords or puzzles, learning a new language (there is no age limit!), practising an art form (drawing, painting, sculpture, music, etc.), gardening, playing Scrabble online, colouring mandalas… the list goes on. All you have to do is choose the activities you enjoy.
A perfect tablecloth for creative seniors
The alphabet, farm animals, professions, etc.: BiMoo bilingual educational tablecloths are primarily designed for children, with the exception of the mandala colouring tablecloth! This tool, illustrated by Julie Blais, allows young and old to colour while relaxing. It’s a fun way to express your creativity, practise your dexterity and keep your brain alert. By using washable markers, you can simply give the tablecloth a quick wash and start over!
As you can see, there are many simple tips we can put into practice to help slow cognitive decline due to aging. Are there one or more seniors in your entourage? Encourage them to eat well, get moving, socialize, and engage in activities that will challenge their brain.
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