Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Top Tips for Cognitive and Mental Health in Later Life

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Mental health for seniors: Nutrition to Support the Brain

Recent studies have shown that a few, simple dietary changes may help to increase cognitive function and boost your mood. A new brain diet, known as MIND, has been specifically designed to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia by improving cognitive function and slowing mental decline. It combines a mood-boosting Mediterranean diet and the blood pressure-lowering DASH diet. The MIND diet is high in leafy greens, colourful vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, fish and unsaturated fats and includes a low intake of meat and dairy products. While cooking daily healthy meals using fresh produce may seem like an arduous task, a carer or family member caring full time could assist with dietary improvements with personally curated meal plans to fit your specific dietary needs and preferences. Carers are also able to bring you fresh produce from local markets to support your mental, physical and emotional health throughout your later life.

Mental health for seniors: Staying Active

Staying active is important for your physical health, but regular physical activity may also help to improve your mood and mental wellbeing. Healthy adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for physical, cognitive and mental health. This includes brisk walks, swimming, yoga, aerobics, tennis and even household chores. It is important to start small, where carers can help you get active by accompanying you on your walks, taking you to classes and assisting you with household work, such as gardening and cleaning. Staying active and getting outside can help clear your head, while providing a sense of accomplishment even after retirement.

Mental health for seniors: Stimulate the brain

Just like our bodies our brain needs regular exercise to keep it sharp and functioning well. Simple communication with another person, taking up a new hobby, board games and puzzles are helpful in keeping your brain active. A number of recent studies have shown that learning a second language in later life may be more beneficial to the brain than learning it earlier, recruiting other regions of the brain than those involved in using one’s mother tongue. Caring companies, such as Guardian Carers, employ bilingual carers that can communicate with you in your native language, while also helping you take on a new challenge to keep your brain stimulated and functioning well.

Mental health for seniors: Improve Your Relationships

Simple everyday communication can help you keep your brain active by exercising cognitive skills. Guardian Carers provides live-in and live-out care to give you regular contact, support, friendship and communication with a compassionate human being. Carers are also able to accompany you to social events and classes to keep you physically and mentally active and engaged in your community.

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