As we age, it is important to take care of our physical, mental and social wellbeing. The brain is a complex organ in the human body that is continuously changing as we age. Our experiences and behaviours can help to shape our brains and therefore it is important that we engage in activities that are beneficial to brain health.
Dementia is commonly thought of as an “old person’s disease”, however it is a set of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain at any age. Dementia is progressive and therefore as more cells in the brain become damaged, symptoms will gradually worsen. While there are risk factors of dementia that you can’t control (i.e. age and genetics), there are ways that you can reduce your risk of developing dementia. It is never too early or too late to start focusing on your brain health!
Tips for brain health:
- Stay active – to keep both the body and mind active.
- Stay social – by connecting with family and friends, joining a club/ group or consider volunteering.
- Challenge your brain – by engage in mentally stimulating activities on a regular basis, including learning new things.
- Manage health conditions – by monitoring high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity – these conditions can increase the risk of developing dementia.
- Manage Stress – by reaching out to talk with someone or asking for help.
To learn more about how staying active, social and strong can positively impact your cognition, check out free online course available to everyone! There are lots to choose from on the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal or the Alzheimer Society of Ontario’s ALZeducate website. You can additional contact your local Alzheimer Society for additional programs and services.