Avoiding Cognitive Decline

November 27, 2023

Consider these 5 ways to help combat cognitive decline

It might be natural to slow down mentally as you age, but that doesn't mean it’s totally out of your control. In fact, there are ways you can keep your mind fresh and help you feel better as a result. Before you learn how to combat cognitive decline, it’s important to understand why it happens over time.

Factors in cognitive decline

According to statistics, the older you are, the more likely you are to be living with mild cognitive impairment. Risk factors that contribute to cognitive decline include:

  • Increased age
  • Genetic disposition
  • Physical and mental inactivity
  • Chronic stress
  • Minimal social interactions

However, there are several things you can do to keep your brain functioning at a high level and make you feel better as you age.


By most metrics, exercise is one of the best ways not just to keep your body healthy, but your brain too. Exercise has been proven to:

  • Improve mood
  • Preserve brain function
  • Maintain cognitive health
  • Reduce the risk of disease

Exercise doesn’t mean you have to lift weights and run marathons. You can see cognitive benefits from taking regular brisk walks, swimming, or most other physical activities.

Work or volunteer

You’ve been looking forward to retirement and the day in which you don’t need to worry about work. But, if you’re someone who loves their job, you may consider continuing your work in some form as a way to combat cognitive decline. An alternative is to volunteer for a cause that is meaningful. Volunteering and using your skills can not only keep your brain sharp as you age, it can also require you to be social on a regular basis, which also can contribute to better cognition.


Eat a nutritious diet

It’s as the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” This is especially true as you get older. By eating a nutritious diet, you can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.  Beets can dilate blood vessels and allow more oxygenated blood to reach the brain, while fishes like salmon and sardines are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve memory when eaten regularly. And don’t forget about fruits like berries that are high in antioxidants. A balanced diet filled with brain-healthy nutrients like these can go a long way to maintaining your cognitive function.



Your brain needs to recharge from a long day, which is why getting adequate sleep is important. Insufficient sleep can lead to impaired memory and cognitive difficulties. But, you may not sleep as well now compared to when you were younger. That means, it’s more important now than ever to maintain good “sleep hygiene” by:

  • Keeping a consistent bedtime
  • Creating a dark, relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom
  • Avoiding caffeine and large meals before bedtime
  • Eliminating the use of electronics before bedtime

When in doubt, see a doctor

While you can take these steps to improve your cognitive health, if you feel like your symptoms are getting worse or you need more support, visit your primary care physician. Your doctor will be able to recommend treatment or refer you to a specialist for more support.


If you’re concerned about cognitive decline affecting your financial security, reach out to us directly to schedule a meeting or ask a question. We’re here to help every step of the way.