At The Stayton, we take a holistic approach to successful aging. That means supporting the physical, spiritual and mental well-being of our residents. Mental well-being includes mental health and mental acuity, both of which can be a common concern for older adults.
At the first sign of forgetfulness, it can be easy to worry about your mental acuity, but there’s a difference between occasional memory lapses and serious cognitive impairment. It’s helpful to understand the signs and risk factors for Alzheimer’s and related dementias as well as steps you can take to help reduce your risk.
Know Your Alzheimer’s Risk
There are more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. There are some risk factors like age, family history and genetics that we simply can’t change, but there are other health and lifestyle factors we have more control over.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can first appear around age 60 and are more likely to increase with age. Health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are potential dementia risk factors, as is a sedentary lifestyle and bad habits like smoking, poor diet or alcohol use.
Know The Signs of Alzheimer’s
The Alzheimer’s Association provides 10 signs of dementia to look for:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
If you’re concerned about the memory impairment of yourself or a loved one, consult a medical professional.
Ways to Boost Brain Health
There are physical, mental and social activities that can address many of the Alzheimer’s risk factors. The good news is there’s a good chance you’re already doing the things that help boost brain health. And if you aren’t, it’s fairly easy to start incorporating a few of these activities into your routine.
Physical activity helps increase blood flow to the brain and releases feel-good endorphins. It also helps maintain cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of potential risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Plus, studies have found that those who engage in physical activity are more likely to fall asleep faster and have better quality sleep, which is worth noting, because sound sleep is another way to help boost brain health.
Of course, diet and exercise go hand-in-hand, and brain health is no exception. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recommends maintaining a healthy diet, filled with appropriately portioned meals containing lots of fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and whole grains.
Exercising the brain is equally important as exercising the body. Engaging in activities you enjoy that also stimulate the brain help to keep your mind sharp. Reading, playing an instrument, attending a lecture or working on a sudoku or crossword puzzle all challenge the brain. Learning a new skill, whether through an adult learning workshop, an online course, or through auditing a class at a local college or university, are wonderful options for pursuing your interests while nourishing your mind.
Social engagement is another important factor for boosting brain health. Whether through volunteer work, community organizations, clubs or dining with friends, regular, meaningful interactions with others are scientifically proven to positively impact well-being.
How The Stayton at Museum Way Supports Brain Health
Hopkins Medicine reports that “managing health problems, exercising daily, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, learning new things and staying socially engaged” are all recommended for boosting brain health. Luckily, it’s easy to do all of those things when you live at The Stayton.
Our independent living residents are curious, adventurous and active in the community. Every day at The Stayton is full of opportunities to stimulate the mind, body and soul. If you want to join a group gallery tour through Fort Worth’s West 7th Cultural District in the morning, take a water aerobics class in the afternoon and then wrap up your day over a leisurely dinner with friends, you can do that.
Want to learn more about the benefits of our high-rise senior living community? We’d love to talk. Fill out the form below or call us at 817-349-7140.