Senior Care in Old Greenwich, CT
Many people have the idea that getting older automatically means people are going to deal with extensive memory loss and diminished cognitive capacity. They feel that losing their mental acuity and heading into "senility" is an inevitable element of aging and that there is really nothing they as caregivers can do about it. The reality is, however, that while forgetfulness and slower cognitive processing are more common among aging adults, getting older does not necessarily mean having to say goodbye to the days of a sharp, quick mind and enjoying meaningful memories. There are plenty of ways that you can build your senior care plan for your aging loved ones around the idea of supporting a stronger mind and sharper memory. One of these ways is through exercise.
You may remember hearing the phrase "A strong body leads to a healthy mind" when you were younger. While much of the focus of keeping senior brains strong and active has been focused on mental stimulation and cognitive activity, research shows that there is a lot of truth to that old adage. A year-long study involving 120 aging adults has medical authorities contending that getting your parents up, out, and active is one of the most important things you can do within your senior care plan to encourage longer-lasting mental and emotional health, and cognitive and memory skill.
This study focused on the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for memory. Medical research has shown that this area of the brain actually reduces in volume as adults get older, contributing to the reduction of cognitive processing skill and memory loss. Supporting the health of this structure and slowing or even stopping this volume reduction is an important step toward preserving memory skills. The study showed that adding aerobic activity to a senior's regular routine can not only eliminate hippocampal volume loss, it can actually stimulate an increase in volume of this area of the brain, meaning getting your parents more active not only preserves their memory skills and cognitive processing abilities, but can dramatically improve them as well.
Some of the ways that you and your aging loved ones' senior health care services provider can introduce more aerobic activity into your parents' routine include:
• Take a stroll. Make talking a walk part of your daily schedule. Walks are a simple and approachable form of exercise they can enjoy around their neighborhoods, through a park, along a beach, or even in a shopping mall.
• Have an afternoon dance party. Energize the afternoon by turning on some upbeat music and encouraging your aging loved ones to dance around the living room. This is great for their bodies, but also a fun way to boost their emotional health and foster conversations about the memories the music brings up.
• Take a class. Contact the local senior center, community center, or gym and find out about aerobic classes geared toward senior adults, such as swimming, low-impact aerobics, step aerobics, and even Zumba tailored to seniors.
Seniors should always consult with their primary care physician before beginning any exercise regimen.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Old Greenwich, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.