There is growing scientific evidence showing that making behavioral and lifestyle changes can help you maintain cognition and brain health later in life.
It’s a fact, your brain ages just like the rest of your body: it shrinks in size, slows down in speed, and becomes less adaptable to change. While research on how to maintain brain health later in life continues at a rapid and expanding pace, we know there is growing hope and expectation that living longer, fuller cognitive lives is possible. In fact, a recent survey of AARP members age 50 and over showed that 90% felt staying mentally sharp was their top health related interest.
Research suggests there are six critical elements to aging successfully and maintaining your brain health as you age. These include:
- Staying physically active;
- Reducing and managing your risk for cardiovascular diseases by managing your blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels;
- Regularly discussing with family members any noticeable changes in your cognitive abilities or memory. Ask them to tell you and your doctor about the changes they may have noticed;
- Regularly reviewing with your physician the health conditions you have and the medications and supplements you take that may impact your cognitive health;
- Staying socially and intellectually engaged; and
- Getting the recommended amount of sleep.
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Advocating for new research to better understand and alleviate age-related cognitive decline and memory loss to help people maintain their brain health and age successfully.