Staying Mentally Sharp: 4 Habits Seniors Should Adopt Right Now

Written by Contributor. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on June 02, 2021 with No Comments

By Kelli Krusinger, SHINE® Director for Rittenhouse Village at Valparaiso

Kelli Krusinger

Modern studies have actually shown that the number-one fear among the senior generation is regarding deteriorating mental health. Some 28% of seniors worry about the loss of their mind’s performance and sharpness with advancing age. Perhaps surprisingly, that is even more than the number (23%) who worry about not having enough money to sustain themselves in retirement. 

(Source: CBS News)

Naturally, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease topped the list of most-feared outcomes, however, we are not here to point out the problems; we are here to highlight potential solutions! 

It is also scientifically proven that keeping the mind active and stimulated as you age creates a bevy of positive, physical and mental outcomes, not the least of which is a decreased likelihood for developing dementia including Alzheimer’s. 

For a possible payoff as desirable as that one, there is sure to be a lot that folks are willing to do. However, here’s some more good news: It’s not difficult at all to give the mind an invigorating workout in as little as, say, 30 minutes per day. In fact, here are five habits that seniors—and everyone, really—should work on as part of ongoing efforts to the mind sharp as we grow older: 

Exercise  

In addition to helping the body, exercise also challenges our brains with tasks like coordination. Not only that, but exercise releases chemicals (endorphins) in the brain that ramp up our moods. At Rittenhouse Village communities, our Dimensions Health & Wellness program incorporates senior-specific fitness and guided exercise classes, which create daily opportunities for resident seniors to stimulate both mind and body.  

Get Sufficient (and High-Quality) Sleep 

Restful sleep is really good for the brain. Unfortunately, many of us become accustomed to interrupted sleep or sleeping amidst distractions like lights or the television. Take some time to examine personal sleep patterns and look to eliminate interruptions and distractions. Ask for help, too! Especially in the community setting, there is always someone around who is qualified to recommend natural or even clinical remedies to ensure better sleep. 

Play Games & Problem Solve 

Turns out it is really not all about fun and games! Believe it or not, everything from board games and trivia, to playing cards and even video games are really good for stimulating neural connections without us even realizing it. So, join in during coordinated activities, or set up your own games among friends. More than just being fun, it is good for you, too!   

Never Stop Learning  
Especially with the power of the Internet at our fingertips, it’s never been easier to seek out reputable information and learn about new subjects. It can be anything, from history and great works of literature, to learning how to make balloon animals. No matter what, knowledge is good for the mind; so, make each day an opportunity to learn something new. Go online, visit the library, and even talk to others who have special knowledge in a particular field.  

At Rittenhouse Village communities, evidence-based programming designed to stimulate and preserve mental faculties are benefiting residents each and every day. It is part of the communities’ overall lifestyle, and yet another, big reason why the senior living community setting is more than just a place to live; it’s a place to live better.  

For more information call 219-207-6946 or, visit www.rittenhousevillageatvalparaiso.com

Upcoming events:

Tuesday, June 8 from 2 to 4:00 p.m.

Open Forum: Spotting Signs That Home Life is No Longer Safe

Rittenhouse Village at Valparaiso

1300 Vale Park Road

Valparaiso, IN 4638

219-207-6946

Tuesday, June 22 from 4:30-7:00 p.m.

Open Forum: Food Truck Shindig & Block Part

Rittenhouse Village at Portage

6235 Sterling Creek Road

Portage, Indiana 46368

219-207-7165

Kelli is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and has worked at Rittenhouse village at Valparaiso for over 5 years. Her dedication and compassion make her a resident favorite and an integral member of the Rittenhouse Village family.

June is recognized nationally as Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness month, now which makes a fitting time to examine practical ways for seniors to preserve and protect mental capacities despite the adverse impacts of aging. Through our exclusive lifestyle programming, Rittenhouse Village communities are working every day to help residents optimize health and mental acuity.   

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