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Articles of Interest

5 Ways to Improve Cognition and Memory as You Age

As we age, mental health promotion and prevention strategies focus on supporting healthy aging. It’s normal to experience a natural decline in cognition and memory as we get older, making us vulnerable to mental health issues. The good news is that there are many ways that you can protect your mental health. Here are five ways you can maintain – and maybe even improve – your mental wellness as you age.

  1. Play Mind Games – Your brain needs stimulation to stay sharp and avoid cognitive decline. Brain games can help with certain thinking skills such as processing speed, planning skills, reaction time, decision-making, and short-term memory. Any activity that keeps your mind engaged and working towards solving a problem contributes to good brain health, but some common activities include doing puzzles, playing games, reading and writing, learning a new language, and playing an instrument.
  2. Get Physical – Whether it’s taking regular walks, yoga classes, or ballroom dancing, exercise and physical activity benefit both the mind and the body by boosting confidence and reducing the risk of falls. Low-impact exercises like stretching and strength training are necessary to help you stay healthy and reduce the risk of common age-related issues. In addition to the physical benefits, exercise can also help you manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
  3. Stay Connected with Friends – Keeping in touch with the important people in your life can help decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation. Writing a letter or setting up a regular phone call with a friend can have a positive impact on your mental well-being.
  4. Dust Off Your Bucket List – Retirement is the perfect time for you to dust off your “bucket list” and pursue lifelong goals. Participating in activities that you enjoy help to reduce stress and improve mood.
  5. Volunteer – Many seniors find a sense of purpose in volunteering for a worthy cause. Whether you enjoy reading to children or serving meals at a local soup kitchen or helping at a hospital, volunteering is great way to help you remain active, socially engaged, and part of a community.

Taking care of your mental health is important at any age, but even more so as you get older. You don’t have to wait until you’re struggling to get mental health support. Learn more about how St. Luke’s Penn Foundation can help you or call 215-257-6551.