Aging can cause numerous changes to an individual's body, and the brain is no exception.
Private duty and home health caregivers have firsthand knowledge and experience in noting changes in the clients they care for. A recent article from the Brain Sciences journal offers suggestions caregivers can use to help their clients nurture and maintain brain health so they can remain healthy—and at home—as possible
The article, which focuses on a study of basic structures of brain function by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, explains that an active lifestyle contributes to the development of the central nervous system and combats brain aging. The abstract also notes that interpersonal interactions assist cognitive resilience to decline, and pursuing passions influences the development and maintenance of the brain.
Ease of mobility can decrease with aging, but the worse thing an individual can do is remain stagnant for long periods of time. According to the study, exercise has been shown to increase brain function.
"Published research has shown that very diverse types of physical training, such as, for example, juggling training, mindfulness body-mind training, ballet dance training, and gymnastic training can all affect brain structure," the study stated.
In a reference observational study, it was noted that an active lifestyle helped individuals of all ages maintain cognitive and neurological health.
Maintaining and creating social ties requires effort and interpersonal communication skills, but they can enhance brain cognition in the long run.
"Studies suggest that people with poor relationships have poor cognitive functions later in life," the study explained. "However, there are some inconsistencies in findings as other studies have indicated no relationship between social relations and cognitive function later in life."
Exploring individual interests and hobbies is another way to encourage good brain function. Recent research has found that the more older adults are involved in leisure activities such as hobbies, the better their well-being, the study mentions.
"An individual's passion towards a certain theme, topic, ability, or activity is important in maintaining an active mind," the study stated. "Working with and practicing in the activity through deliberate practice is important.”
Physical activity, socialization, and pursuing passions can combat brain aging.
Activities such as mindfulness, juggling, and even ballet have been shown to have positive effects on brain health, for individuals of all ages.
The more involved an older adult is in a hobby, the better their overall well-being.