At The Waterford, ensuring the health and well-being of our residents is a top priority. And that begins as soon as you move in. To us, well-being includes providing opportunities to support physical, spiritual and mental wellness year-round.
It’s not uncommon to hear questions about memory care, mental health and mental acuity among older adults, so we wanted to take the time to address some of the signs and symptoms of serious memory problems as well as provide steps you can take today to boost brain health.
Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
It’s not uncommon to experience occasional forgetfulness as we age, but with more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, any memory blip or forgotten thought can make you question your mental sharpness.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can first appear around age 60 and are more likely to increase with age. High blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are potential dementia risk factors. And a sedentary lifestyle and other bad habits like smoking, poor diet or alcohol use can also heighten your risk for the disease.
It’s important to remember that occasionally forgetting someone’s name or misplacing the remote is not an immediate cause for alarm, but if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, consult with your doctor.
When it comes to recognizing symptoms, the Alzheimer’s Association provides these 10 signs 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
Ways to Boost Brain Health
There are a number of habits you can adopt to boost brain health that are fairly easy to incorporate into your normal routine. The best way to help keep your brain sharp is through a combination of physical, mental and social activities.
Physical activity has many benefits, including maintaining cardiovascular health — which can help combat high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol and increase the blood flow to your brain. Physical activity is also linked to improved mental health and better quality of sleep, which is great news, because sound sleep is an equally important way you can boost brain health.
A healthy diet can help your brain, too. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recommends including ample fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry and whole grains into your diet and eating proper portion sizes to benefit both the heart and the brain.
Help keep your mind sharp by participating in activities you enjoy that also challenge your brain, like crossword puzzles, playing an instrument, reading, attending a lecture, sudoku or strategy board games. Learning a new skill is another great way to stimulate your brain. Sign up for a course online or inquire about auditing a class at a local university or community college.
Maintaining regular social engagement plays an important role in brain health. Social activities might include participation in clubs and community groups, volunteer work or even dining out with friends or neighbors. Or, add a social component to physical or mental activities by participating in a group exercise class or signing up to learn a new skill with friends.
How The Waterford Supports Brain Health
According to Hopkins Medicine, experts recommend “managing health problems, exercising daily, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, learning new things and staying socially engaged” to boost brain health — all of which is made easier when living in a community like The Waterford!
The residents in our independent living community are active, curious and engaged. Group outings, on-site events and physical fitness classes are a regular part of life at The Waterford. Not to mention the healthy and delicious meals prepared at our on-site restaurants or the social and physical benefits of membership at PGA National Resort and Spa. The opportunities to nurture the mind, body and spirit are nearly endless.
If you’re interested in learning more about all that life at The Waterford has to offer, we’d love to talk. Contact us today!