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5 Things Seniors Can Do to Keep Their Minds Sharp

things seniors can do to keep their minds sharp

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are a real fear for older Americans and their families. Luckily, we can do things to help lower the risk for dementia. Mental exercises play a critical role in strengthening and maintaining overall brain functions. At Buckner Villas, the Buckner Core Principles – connection, independence, purpose, security, and service – are at the root of all of our programs, including helping our residents keep their minds sharp.

Buckner Villas is a faith-based nonprofit senior living community in Austin, TX. We strive to provide the highest quality of life to our residents from independent living through long-term care. Reach out online or call 512.580.9882 to learn more about our senior living programs.

The Importance of Cognitive Activity for Seniors

Essential parts of the brain tend to atrophy as we get older. However, cognitive decline is not inevitable, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can significantly reduce your risk for dementia. One aspect of brain health, cognitive health, refers to thinking, learning, and remembering clearly. Other essential elements of brain health are:

  • Motor function – How well you make and control movements and balance.
  • Emotional function – How well you interpret and respond to emotions.
  • Tactile function – How well you feel and respond to touch, including pain, pressure, and temperature.

Brain functioning can be impacted by aging, injury, mental health disorders, substance use disorder,  Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia. Research shows that many lifestyle changes can affect cognitive health and that small changes add up quickly. Maintaining your cognitive health is essential to overall health and quality of life, especially in later years.

Tips for Seniors to Keep Their Minds Sharp

One of the most critical components of maintaining cognitive health is socialization. Studies show that social isolation increases the risk of dementia by nearly 50%. At Buckner Villas, residents benefit from our numerous social and community activities and programs. We also have an extensive offering of group outings in and around Austin.

Along with socialization, the following are tips for seniors to keep their minds sharp:

  1. Take care of your physical health – Our physical and mental health are complexly intertwined. Managing chronic health conditions, taking medications, getting enough sleep, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption will help cognitive functioning.
  2. Practice relaxation – Meditation is one of the best brain exercises for seniors. Meditation allows you to relax, manage stress, and stay tuned with thoughts and emotions.
  3. Do puzzles – Jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, crosswords, word games, logic puzzles, and concentration card games help with memory, recall, problem-solving, focus, and judgment.
  4. Exercise – Working out increases a protein called BDNF, vital for growing and keeping neurons. Exercise also reduces stress and helps prevent brain inflammation.
  5. Eat a healthy diet – Eating healthy helps preserve cognitive functioning and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s.

At Buckner Villas, we believe that these are the best years of your life and should be lived doing what you want. The purpose is one of our core principles because we believe now is the time to pursue your interests and have new experiences. Having a goal-driven purpose leads to meaningful engagement, which is associated with reduced rates of dementia. Our safe, secure, welcoming, all-inclusive environment is full of opportunities.

Discover More Than Just a Senior Living Facility at Buckner Villas

Buckner Villas is one of six retirement communities operated by Buckner Retirement Services. Our faith-based nonprofit senior living community is committed to providing you or your loved one the highest quality of living and care. Our senior living options include:

Across all of our programs, we operate by the Buckner Core Principles of:

  • Service
  • Security
  • Purpose
  • Independence
  • Connection

Our care staff is committed to providing the best senior living care possible as part of their service to the greater good. Residents at Buckner Villas quickly come to view staff as a trusted part of their family. Contact Buckner Villas today to discover what makes us more than just a senior living facility. Call 512.580.9882.