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People tend to worry about the changes to their appearance as they age but fail to consider the importance of staying mentally sharp. Strong cognition has much more influence on the quality of life for seniors than a lack of crow’s feet. The retention of memory and critical thinking skills allows people to stay independent longer. Independence can make life more enjoyable and provide more opportunities.

Science does not back the belief that humans have no control over their aging brain and must accept memory loss. Research shows that even though it is impossible to prevent all types of dementia, reducing the risk is possible. Here are three examples of how to keep cognitive skills sharp at age 70 and beyond.

Improve Heart Health

Uncontrolled blood pressure, strokes, and mini-strokes all affect memory and increase the risk of dementia. People that pay attention to their heart health will protect their brain at the same time. A healthy diet and exercise plan that keeps people active and a recommended weight is a good start. Improve heart health even more with 7-9 hours of sleep each night, monitoring blood pressure, and regular medical exams to identify concerns early.

Socialize More Frequently

Socializing helps to reduce loneliness and depression and keeps people more active. Staying involved with friends, family, and neighbors can boost brain power in many ways. Remembering get-togethers, birthdays, and other important occasions can also provide valuable exercise for the mind. Socializing also often reduces stress, and too much stress may affect cognition.

Learn New Skills

Different areas of the brain become active as people complete tasks. Learning a new skill or taking part in many unique activities can help sharpen areas of the brain that may stay inactive otherwise. Combining hands-on activities and hobbies that require critical thinking gives the variety needed for the most benefit.

An inability to think clearly or remember important tasks can prevent seniors from experiencing a fulfilling life. Many people can avoid this concern by making a few simple changes in their routines each day. Anyone concerned with a declining memory should speak to their doctor to rule out any undiagnosed health conditions