407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org

Improving Cognitive Health

Cognitive performance is not fixed. There are small changes people can make in their daily lives that should sustain higher cognitive functioning in old age.

1. Keep the mind active through work, volunteering, hobbies or playing games. Learning new skills can be a real brain boost. Learning new skills or dance steps can be very beneficial. Using the opposite hand to do a task like brushing your teeth can also be helpful.

2. Engage in social activities, with family, friends, peers, etc.

3. Stay physically active with exercise, or household chores like gardening.

4. Seniors need to stay on top of their physical health because a healthy body is a good foundation for a healthy mind. It’s essential that one handles high blood pressure and other chronic conditions. It’s also important to manage stress, get adequate sleep, and maintain a healthy diet.

By doing a combination of all these things, seniors can expect tangible results. Some evidence suggests that by following healthy practices, seniors can build a cognitive reserve that makes their brain resistant to neuropathological damage. This reserve provides the ability to maximize critical thinking to the end of life, thus helping seniors compensate for natural changes in the brain that accrue with age.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.