How to Improve Cognitive Health in Seniors 6 Tips

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How to Improve Cognitive Health in Seniors 6 Tips

Last updated December 2022


As we get older, it’s not just our body that begins to change. Our brain changes too. In fact, it starts to shrink in volume, most notably around the prefrontal cortex, which plays a key role in our overall cognitive development. Thankfully, our brain has the ability to adapt and grow new cells and neural connections as we alter and improve our daily habits. Here are some key tips on how to improve cognitive health for seniors. 


Diet and Nutrition


What you eat directly impacts every aspect of your health, including cognitive function, and more specifically, your memory. Eating a wholesome, well-balanced diet filled with veggies, fruits, and healthy fats and is low or void of processed junk will greatly benefit seniors. 


Here are some brain loving foods to include in your daily diet:


  • Salmon

  • Olive oil

  • Kale

  • Spinach

  • Avocados

  • Eggs

  • Walnuts

  • Blueberries


Regular Exercise


In order to keep our brain healthy, it’s important to take care of our physical body, and that means staying active daily. Exercising increases oxygen levels and blood flow which encourages nerve cells to multiply and grow stronger. Some studies have shown that exercise can actually expand our memory center quite significantly too. 


Additionally, staying active also helps to improve sleep and lower anxiety and stress. There are many senior-appropriate exercises out there that can be fun, safe, and beneficial to your cognitive health. Aerobic and resistance training are best since they boost memory and brain health in those in the 50 plus age range.


A Good Night’s Sleep


Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the simplest but most important things we can do to help our brain and body. One night of poor quality sleep can directly impact your ability to think clearly the next day. And persistent sleep deprivation has even been linked with Alzheimer’s disease. On average, adults require 7-9 hours of sleep for our brain and overall health to be optimal. As we sleep, our brain improves our memory, retention of information, and it’s also when our body optimizes any new information that we’ve acquired, processing it and storing it. 


Making adjustments to improve sleep patterns is vital for seniors. Develop a consistent routine for bedtime:


  • Avoid electronics at least one hour before bed

  • Make sure the temperature of the room is slightly cooler than it feels under the covers.

  • Make the room dark.


These minor adjustments can make a big difference in the quality of sleep you or your ageing parent get.


Brain Games


We work out to strengthen our bodies, and the same must be applied to our brains. It needs to be stimulated and challenged on a regular basis to remain sharp. Otherwise, it will begin to deteriorate. Simple brain games have shown to prevent memory loss and strengthen our entire brain health. Some excellent brain games to play include crossword puzzles, Sudoku, card games, chess, or anything that will challenge you to think, critically analyze and flex those cognitive muscles.




It’s easy, enjoyable, informative, and another great way to stimulate the brain. Whether it’s the daily newspaper or novels, reading can keep your brain active and engaged.




If you love to dance, you’ll be happy to learn that this can be very advantageous for your brain as well. Aside from being a good and fun source of exercise, dancing also improves hand and body coordination, and it has shown to help lower stress levels.


At Waterford of Summerlea, we provide a safe, fun and engaging community where seniors can enjoy doing all of the activities they love, including many that are beneficial to their cognitive health and wellbeing. To learn more about our community, programs, and whether it’s a good fit for your senior loved one, reach out to us today.