How to Protect Your Brain When Ageing?


As a population, the average life expectancy for an Australian is currently 83.73, which puts us 10th for all countries around the world. (Hong Kong currently tops the list with 85.83, while poor old Chad comes in at the bottom of the pile, in 201st place at just 53.68!).


The good news for Aussies is that this figure has increased markedly over the years. Indeed, when the Aged Care pension was introduced in 1909, the average resident of the lucky country only lived until the age of 55. So, the standard of living and medical care has improved – as further evidenced by there being around 4250 octogenarians currently residing in the nation.

If this increase persists, as is predicted by some experts, there will be over 50,000 people aged over 100 living Down Under by 2050. However, while one’s longevity is something to be embraced it is also important to minimize some of the risks that come with getting older. One of which is dementia, a condition that currently affects around 400,000 people and could potentially increase to 800,000+ by 2058.

How to Protect Your Brain When Ageing?

How to Protect Your Brain When Ageing


Dementia is a debilitating condition that signifies cognitive impairment and mental decline. It manifests itself in several ways including loss of memory, reasoning and problem-solving capabilities, and language difficulties, which can severely impact the sufferer’s everyday life.


Thankfully, there are several lifestyle choices and strategies you can make to significantly decrease your chances of succumbing to such a condition. In this article, we will highlight the most effective of them, to help you protect your brain in your golden years.

Top 8 Things to Do to Protect Brain While Aging:

(N.B. These choices and strategies are randomly presented and NOT in order of effectiveness).

  • 1. Quality Sleep

For Australians of any age, but particularly seniors, ensuring you get enough sleep is critical to enable you to maintain good brain health.

Some experts believe that when you sleep, your brain gets cleared of abnormal proteins. At this same time, your memories are also consolidated, which subsequently results in your overall brain health and memory being at an optimal level.

Seniors are advised to aim for between seven and nine hours of good quality, consecutive sleep every night – as opposed to a series of fragmented naps of between 2-3 hours through the day. Getting this amount of consecutive sleep provides your brain with enough time to perform the function of consolidating and storing memories effectively.


To help you achieve a consistency of good quality sleep, try to establish a bedtime routine. This could involve going to sleep around the same time every night, not looking at your phone for at least an hour before trying to sleep, and minimizing any distractions like noise or light from your room which might prevent you from nodding off.

  • 2. Regular Exercise

You are probably well aware that regular exercise or physical activity can have several health benefits. But did you know it is excellent for your mental health and cognitive function too?

Widely published research has proved that seniors who partake in regular physical exercise or activity are less prone to experiencing a decline in their mental capabilities. They also have a much lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

This is because when you exercise or are physically active, it increases the flow of blood to your brain. At the same time, it can also stave off some of the natural decline your brain connections experience, which naturally happens as you get older.

Overall, you should aim to do at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity or exercise every day that gets your heart rate up. This can include everything from running, walking, or swimming to dancing, yoga, or even lawn mowing.

  • 3. Reduce alcohol consumption and don’t smoke

Drinking has long since been a part of the culture and way of life in Australia and while we are not saying you should quit drinking alcohol; it is wise to reduce your intake of it.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society UK, drinking over 28 units of alcohol per week can lead to a quicker decline in a person’s ability to think against someone who consumes less than that amount.

Additionally, drinking heavily over a long period can result in suffering from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and a lack of thiamine (vitamin B1) that affects short-term memory.

If you smoke, you should also quit tobacco immediately. As well as increasing your likelihood of suffering from cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and a compromised immune system, it can also increase your risk of brain atrophy – which triggers cognitive decline and brain aging.

  • 4. Follow a Mediterranean diet

We all know maintaining a healthy balanced diet is imperative to reducing your chances of being overweight or obese. However, it can also go a long way towards improving your brain health as well, particularly if you follow the Mediterranean diet.


Some experts believe this diet – which incorporates plenty of whole grains, fish, healthy fats like olive oil, and plant-based foods – is effective in reducing one’s chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This is evidenced in studies that found those following this diet were less likely to suffer from the condition than those who don’t.

If you don’t want to follow this diet religiously, try to ensure you eat plenty of blueberries, salmon, beans, lean red meats, avocados, tomatoes nuts, and seeds regularly.

  • 5. Stimulate your mind

Did you know? Your brain is similar to a muscle in that if you don’t use it, you lose it. For this reason, it is vitally important to keep it active as you get older.

There are several ways you can do this including doing memory tests like Wordle, Sudoku, and crosswords regularly. You should also try to read and creatively write and, if you are a sports fan, take part in a fantasy league. Something else to consider is studying for a university degree or other qualification. Essentially, you need to do activities that keep your mind ticking over.

These types of things will help to fill up your time and stave off boredom. It can also provide you with nice challenges that require you to draw upon your reasoning and organizational skills.

  • 6. Maintain social interaction

Loneliness and isolation can be a real issue for older Australians, which is why it is important to maintain social interaction when and where possible. Doing this can help to reduce the onset of stress and depression, which can be a cause of memory loss.

Older Australians should look for opportunities to connect with others in their local community, including clubs, groups, or societies that hold events for seniors. Typically, this could include coffee mornings, day trips or acts of volunteering.

Congruently, they should use technology such as direct messaging and video calls to be able to talk to people who live far away or have schedules that are too busy to set aside time for face-to-face interaction.

  • 7. Stress less

Talking of stress, it is well documented that the more you stress as an older person the more likely you are to experience cognitive decline.

Subsequently, those who are depressed, exhausted, sleep-deprived, and anxious should take steps to reduce the effects of these afflictions. Strategies you can adopt include regular exercise, taking short breaks away from where you live, cultivating a better environment for sleep, seeking professional help, and practicing mindfulness.


Ultimately, the more you address what is causing these afflictions, the more at peace your mind will be, which in turn will do wonders for your brain function.

  • 8. Drink plenty of water

The more hydrated you are, the better the health of your brain and the more efficiently it can function. Research has shown that even suffering from mild dehydration – of the sort that can result in losing up to 3% of your body weight – can significantly impair various aspects of one’s brain function.

For this reason, it is important to drink at least 2.5 liters of water a day if you are male and 2 liters if you are female. Doing this will carry essential nutrients to your brain which keeps it healthy, helps your brain cells to communicate with one another, and also clears out waste and toxins that can impair your brain function.

Other Preventative Steps

As well as the above, there are a couple of other preventative steps you can take to protect your brain health and reduce the risk of dementia.

One of them is to take an Alzheimer’s drink like Souvenaid, which has been proven to slow down cognitive decline in seniors by as much as 60% when taken every day for three years.


The other is taking low-dose aspirin, which observational studies have suggested could contribute towards having a lower chance of suffering from dementia – particularly the vascular kind. Before taking either, you may want to consult with your doctor first.

Last Thoughts

Growing old is a privilege we should embrace and not take for granted. Therefore, as more people are staying older for longer than ever before in Australia, it is important to do all we can to ensure our golden years are as fruitful and enjoyable as possible.

Life is a gift.

So, it is within all our interests to make the most of it. At the end of the day, the strategies outlined above should significantly help you to do this by enhancing both your physical and mental well-being.