Keeping your brain fit to ward off dementia…

While we are bombarded with messages to keep our bodies fit, keeping our brain fit is also very important as we age.

Researchers at Stanford University in the United States found that memory loss can be improved by 30 to 50 per cent by doing mental exercises.

(For information on dementia from an insider’s perspective, click here.)

Crosswords, puzzles, card games such as bridge, chess, Scrabble and even Trivial Pursuit can help keep the brain in tip-top shape and potentially ward off dementia.

Enrolling in a course of interest, learning to play a musical instrument, taking an active interest in the world by reading often and widely, engaging in conversations and maintaining an active social life – these will all help give the grey matter a “workout.”

Long-lasting functional changes in the brain occur when we learn new things or have to memorise new information. Our brains create new neural connections, called neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.

Physical exercise boosts oxygen to the brain and just 30 minutes’ exercise per day (even in three 10-minute blocks) can help improve memory, reasoning and reaction times.

Of course, keeping the body fit and healthy works in tandem with a healthy mind. Some conditions which can affect the brain’s ability to function can be associated with diet, obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

The key to reducing memory loss is embarking on a wide range of stimulating activities which combine mental and physical exercise.

Dancing is one activity which involves using your brain and moving your body. Dancing can improve muscle tone, strength, endurance and fitness and is a great way to make new friends too.

Many of Oxley Home Care’s clients are involved in a number of activities, including social groups, chess and  yoga.

Our Sydney Dementia Care staff are trained to provide the very best of care, as well as ensuring our clients are having fun, connecting with their communities and being both physically and mentally active.

Did you find this article informative? 

To find out how lifelong learning keeps you young, click here

Did you know that people with dementia are twice as likely to be lonely as the rest of the population? Click here to find out more. 

About Oxley Home Care

Oxley Home Care, established in 2006, is a family-owned Sydney company and is an Approved Government Provider for in-home aged care services, specialising in Dementia Care.

Oxley Home Care is an Approved Provider of Home Care Packages funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and holds an allocation of Home Care Packages. These packages are designed to provide assistance to the elderly, to remain living independently at home.

To gain access to a Home Care Package, the government requires that you undergo a comprehensive assessment by your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). To arrange the assessment, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care web site.

For more information, call Oxley Home Care on 1300 993 591.

Gilian Douglass

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