Improve Brain Health & Reduce Risk for Dementia

The Best 15 Ways to reduce your risk for dementia and optimize mental health and brain health in older adulthood.

  1. Top 15 ways to reduce dementia risk and optimize mental health
  2. Find a Mental Health Professional

Top 15 ways to reduce dementia risk and optimize mental health

  1. Engage in physical activity
  2. Maintain cardiovascular health
  3. Engage in enjoyable cognitively stimulating activities
  4. Participate in your social life
  5. Avoid excessive alcohol or other harmful substances
  6. Avoid smoking and other environmental toxins
  7. Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night (consistently)
  8. Eat a nutritious diet (note: if there are any evidence-based supplements, I’ll include them here)
  9. Think positively about aging (reduce ageism)
  10. Find meaning and purpose in life
  11. Engage in enjoyable activities – hobbies, spending time in nature
  12. Avoid medications contraindicated for older adults
  13. Practice mindfulness and meditation
  14. Manage chronic stress (practice gratitude, participate in enjoyable activities, take breaks, etc)
  15. Get treatment for mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression

 

Find a Mental Health Professional

What is a Therapist?
Therapist is a broad term to identify licensed professionals trained to provide talk-therapy to treat or manage mental health conditions. Professions such as psychology, social work, licensed professional counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists commonly provide talk-therapy. These professionals may even have specialty in older adults. For example: Geriatric Social Worker or Gero-Psychologist who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues that occur more commonly in older adults, such as dementia, depression, insomnia, caregiving, older family needs, etc. in concert with medical problems.

What is a Psychiatrist/Gero-Psychiatrist?
Geriatric psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues that occur more commonly in older adults, such as dementia, depression, insomnia, etc. in concert with medical problems and multiple medications.

What is a Neuropsychologist?
A neuropsychologist is a psychologist with advanced specialty in understanding the relationship between the brain and behavior. They help to diagnose brain disorders, like dementia (specifically what type of dementia a person has) and help to determine a person’s ability to learn, accomplish tasks. Neuropsychologists and neurologists (a physician who specializes in the brain) often consult with one another for diagnosing dementia or other brain disorders.

Resources & References