A lot of changes take place as we get older. It’s common to feel a little stiffer, a little more sore, and you may not move around as quickly as you used to, but nothing is scarier than losing your memory.

It’s true that it’s relatively normal to be at least a little forgetful as you age, but dementia takes forgetfulness to a whole new level. It can make living your day-to-day life extremely difficult, and it can eventually take away your independence, forcing you to live in an assisted living facility.

Fortunately, you don’t have to sit back and wait to see if dementia is going to take over your life or not. There are things you can do to help prevent forgetfulness and dementia from being part of your life during your golden years.

Prevent Brain Injuries

One of the best things you can do to take care of your brain is to do whatever you can to prevent a brain injury. There is a connection between traumatic brain injury and dementia risk, which means preventing your brain from serious injury can help you keep dementia at bay.

Protect your brain by wearing a helmet whenever you ride a bike or a motorcycle and drive safely when you’re on the road, as these are the most common ways people experience brain injuries.

It also means knowing what to do if you suffer from a brain injury. If you care for your brain immediately after your accident and in the long-run, you can reduce your chances of experiencing dementia. 

Exercise Your Mind

There is a fine line between forgetfulness and dementia. In some cases, struggling to remember things is simply a side effect of not using your mind or challenging it regularly.

If you want to keep your mind sharp, you have to use it! There are a lot of fun ways to exercise your brain that include:
  • Complete a jigsaw puzzle
  • Play a card game with friends
  • Learn a new skill
  • Listen to or play music
  • Take new routes around town
  • Learn a new language

Try a new recipe

You can also try brain training games. You can find many different puzzle game apps, video games, and computer games, as well as old-fashioned puzzle books. They are also a great way to pass the time if you feel a little bored!
Get Social

Loneliness and social isolation are becoming more and more common among senior populations. That's not a good thing. Studies have shown that seniors are 26 percent less likely to develop dementia when they have a large, well-established support network.

The good news is that it’s never too late to build a support network! Even if you don’t have any family members or old friends who like to check in, you can always make new connections. Join a club, take an exercise class, or volunteer. The connections you make, when nurtured, can help your mind remain agile as you age.
Eat Right

The food we eat can have a huge impact on our health, which includes brain health.

The Mediterranean diet is an especially good food plan to follow as you age if you want to keep your brain sharp. Those who follow it are 53 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's. It involves eating things like leafy greens, beans, berries, whole grains, and fish. Don’t forget to cook with plenty of olive oil!

Even wine is part of the Mediterranean diet! The key is to drink alcohol in moderation. Focus on drinking just one glass of quality wine once a day or less.

Get Exercise

No list of tips to keep you healthy, whether it’s your brain or your body, is complete without mentioning exercise. It can transform your health and it can reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease, in addition to improving thinking among those with vascular cognitive impairment.

Exercise helps keep blood flowing, and it increases protective chemicals in the brain. Not to mention, it can be a great way to socialize!

Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous either, especially if you have physical limitations. Take a water aerobics class, go for a walk in the park, or lift light weights in your living room while you watch your favorite show.

Starting to lose your memory can be scary to you, but it can also be scary to your loved ones. Stay as sharp as possible for as long as possible by following the tips on this list.
Brain Healthy