Preventing Cognitive Decline: Lifestyle Changes and Strategies to Boost Brain Health

Seniors Benefit Authors Image

As you reach your 60s, it’s not uncommon for you to unrecognize the faces you used to know and forget where you placed your glasses from time to time. In fact, forgetfulness is quite normal for most senior adults. However, as normal as it seems, it can also be a sign.

Cognitive decline is a memory loss condition that is prevalent among adults who are 60 and above. People who are experiencing cognitive decline have difficulty thinking, recalling, and concentrating.

In other cases, they tend to forget how to perform essential and basic tasks needed for daily living. Cognitive decline may range from mild to severe, and as the condition progresses, people who suffer from this condition need assistance throughout the remaining years of their lives.

Signs and Symptoms Cognitive Decline

The signs and symptoms may be hard to spot during the early stages as they won’t likely impact your daily activities yet. While it may not be that bothersome, it’s still important to be aware of the symptoms as early as possible. This is because your doctor can provide immediate actions to slow the progress of the condition.

Below is the list of signs that you’re experiencing cognitive decline:

  1. Consistently forgetting dates and appointments
  2. Easily forgetting recent events and conversations
  3. Easily distracted
  4. Hard time making plans and decisions
  5. Hard time organizing and doing tasks
  6. Difficulty comprehending written or oral language
  7. Difficulty recalling instructions
  8. Irritable and impusive


Doctors and scientists still have no clear evidence as to the specific reason behind it, but some believe that cognitive decline is caused by other underlying conditions such as the following:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders
  • Brain tumors, blood clots, and other brain injuries
  • Problems in the kidney, thyroid, or liver
  • Problems in hearing and eyesight
  • Side effects of current medications
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • History of alcohol abuse
  • Infection

When Does it Start

Most researchers conclude that cognitive decline starts as the person enters the age of 60. However, some are stating that it can start as early as 45. People who practiced a healthy lifestyle during their younger years tend to have a lower possibility of experiencing cognitive decline at the age younger than 60.

That’s the reason why doctors often recommend having a healthy lifestyle while we are still young. It’s because how we take care of our health at a young age has a significant effect when we reach our older years.


There is still no cure for cognitive decline. However, if your condition is mild, there may be ways to slow the progression of the symptoms. This is done by treating the general underlying cause of your cognitive decline (e.g., sleep deprivation, nutrient deficiency, or infection). To do this, you need to talk to your doctor about your condition in order to get the most appropriate treatment.

Prevention and Tips

Though cognitive decline is an inevitable condition as we age, there are still ways to slow its progression. People often try to cure the disease when it has already done damage to the body, but as the saying goes, “It’s better to prevent getting the illness rather than find a cure when it's too late”. Listed below are some practices you might want to consider to lower your risk.

Get Regular Exercise

We already know how exercise provides many health benefits. Not only will it help you maintain a good weight and keep high cholesterol levels at bay, but it is also proven to help lower the risk of various illnesses.

Many studies have proven that exercise may prevent you from getting type 2 diabetes and sticking with regular exercise can improve your heart health as well. Meanwhile, some studies concluded that exercise helps reduce anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems including cognitive decline as it increases dopamine levels in the brain. With this said, there’s no doubt that exercise is the cream of the crop of healthy living.

Start A Mediterranean Diet

Nowadays, there are many variations of meal plans intended for people who want to lose weight. But if we are talking about a healthy diet for the elderly, then a Mediterranean diet is a perfect choice.

A Mediterranean diet consists of a bunch of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains, a moderate amount of dairy products, fish, poultry, and a small amount of red meat. This will give you a whole lot of nutrients needed for your brain to function properly.

Reduce Alcohol Intake

Though drinking moderate to small amounts of alcoholic beverages are believed to lower the risk of cognitive decline, it’s still important to control the amount of alcohol you take regularly. If you’re an occasional drinker, doctors advise limiting your intake to 1 drink each day.

Get Plenty Of Good-Quality Sleep

Good quality sleep is another practice that provides a ton of health benefits. It is also proven to reduce the chances of cognitive decline among the elderly.

Our brain performs different essential functions that can only be done when we are asleep. That’s why it is important to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep regularly. In a recent study, people who sleep less than the recommended hours scored lower on mental function tests and have a lesser focus during the day.

Mental Stimulation Activities

Doing some mental stimulation activities such as crossword puzzles, card games, board games, and other reading & writing activities helps exercise your cognition. Therefore, lowering the risk of cognitive decline. Engaging in similar activities will also help ease your boredom which is experienced by elderly people.


Maintaining healthy social connections is one of the effective therapies for your brain. People who are suffering from depression and anxiety believed that socializing is one way to ease the feeling of loneliness. In one study, it was revealed that people who have maintained strong and healthy social connections are less likely to get cognitive decline than those without. Depression is also proven to be linked to cognitive decline, which makes socializing a good remedy to reduce the risk of both.

Final Thoughts

Cognitive decline may be an inevitable condition as we age, but there are still ways we can do to slow the progression of this condition. People who have lived unhealthy lifestyles while they were still young are the people who most likely suffered from cognitive decline.

This is the reason why taking care of our body should be our topmost priority at all times because I’m sure you wouldn’t want to spend your senior years with illnesses to endure. I hope this article helped you have a deeper understanding of cognitive decline.

Related Article
Senior Assistance Program $3,000: A Beacon of Financial Support for Elderly Individuals

The Senior Assistance Program $3,000 is a financial aid initiative aimed at supporting eligible seniors aged 65 and older by providing a one-time grant of $3,000. Designed to alleviate various financial burdens, the program assists with essential living expenses, healthcare costs, and other critical needs to enhance the well-being of senior citizens.

Read More
Dog Parks: Mental and Physical Health for Your Furry Friend

Dog parks are a good place to go whether you want to give your dog space to roam around or you are looking for people who can take care of your dog while you’re out running your errands. In this way, your dog will feel freedom unlike when they are confined in their cages all day long.

Read More
Getting a Loan for Home Improvement - Best Way to Finance Home Upgrades

Getting a loan for home improvement might not be as easy as one might think. Applicants may need to go through various verification processes before getting approved. To increase one’s chances of getting a loan, one should have a good credit score, credit history, and other financial resources.

Read More
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram