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Geriatric Mental Fitness: Ways to Stay Sharp

by Stacey Rossano on 7/8/14 2:30 PM
Many older people fear retirement because they worry about losing mental acuity, and for good reason. Senior mental fitness tipsIt's said that 1 in 10 retirement age Americans suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay mentally active in order to prevent the onset of dementia and increase quality of life. Listed below are just a few tasks and activities that an elderly person can do at home and in their free time to strengthen mental connections.

1. Stay Social

Humans are social creatures that benefit from interacting with one another. This article, Keeping Your Brain Young (Even As You Grow Old) featured on the University of California, Berkeley website, discusses a 2007 study that showed women who had larger social networks and who stayed socially connected into their old age were less likely to develop dementia. Social interactions like joining groups and clubs, having dinner with friends, talking on the phone and cultivating relationships with neighbors will protect against some of the negative aspects of aging.

2. Brain Stimulation

People who keep learning, even into old age, are thought to have better brain function. In this article on the Harvard Medical School website, elderly people are encouraged to take up a hobby, enroll in classes or read books to prevent memory loss and stay sharp.

3. Seeking Geriatric Counseling

Geriatric counselors help older people avoid isolation (stay social) and find meaningful activities to stimulate their brains and keep themselves happy. Geriatric counseling benefits geriatric behavioral health, as well, making it easier to maintain social connections and stay active.

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