7 Ways To Keep Your Mind Sharp While In Retirement


One of the challenges of retirement is keeping your mind busy when you no longer have a work schedule to contend with. In an assisted living situation, you still have several ways to stay sharp and mentally alert. Here are a few tips to keep your brain active so you can enjoy your time in retirement.

Exercise Regularly

Your physical condition has a lot to do with your mental fitness. Exercise improves circulation and increases the blood flow to the brain. This gives the brain more oxygen to use and gets rid of more waste products from your cells that can make you feel sluggish. The Mayo Clinic suggests getting about two and a half hours of exercise in each week. Exercise a little every day to hit this goal. Do a brisk walk to meals or to pick up your mail and you'll stay sharper.

Keep Learning

Each time you learn something, your brain must shuffle around information to store new information and relate it to what you already know. Learning is exercise for the brain. Read a how-to book. Take a massive open online course (MOOC) in astrophysics. Teach yourself how to do sleight-of-hand magic tricks. Keep your mind challenged by learning something new each week.

Do Something Artistic

Don't worry that you won't create a masterpiece. Just doing something artistic makes the creative side of your brain work. Nursing homes frequently offer art classes. Make a pottery coffee cup. Try finger painting or watercolors. Create a scrapbook of interesting trees you find in magazines. Besides exercising your mind, you'll work on eye-hand coordination in many of the art projects you'll do.

Be Social

Socializing also exercises your brain as you seek to remember names, dates, events and previous conversations. Create reasons for the people around you to get together. Don't let yourself become isolated from people. Join other groups or form ones that meet your interests. Start a bridge group or a book club.

Get Plenty of Sleep

At night, when you are asleep, your brain consolidates memory, moving short-term memory to long-term. When you are rested, you can focus better and will have a longer attention span. Get your primary sleep at night, but don't hesitate to take naps during the day. They will refresh you and keep you going the rest of the day.

Work on Puzzles

Your brain is stimulated when you do puzzles of any kind. Crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku and word puzzles will help cognitive thinking. Your brain must work through potential solutions until you have it right. This lets your brain practice problem solving, something that people must do in everyday life.


The act of writing causes your brain, eyes and hands to work together to put coherent words on the paper. Some people like to write in a diary each day. Other ways to do a little writing every day include:

  • Do stream-of-consciousness writing where you write down whatever thoughts come to you in a certain period of time.
  • Describe, in precise detail, a tree outside of your home, a car in the parking lot, or the landscaper trimming the bushes.
  • Write a letter to a historical figure and ask them whatever questions come to mind.

As you start doing these writing exercises, more ideas will come to you that you'll have fun with. For even more ideas, talk to a center like Regina Nursing Center.


25 November 2014

Protecting Your Elderly Loved One

Recently, my mom took my grandmother to her physician for a regular check-up. During this visit, the doctor discovered my grandmother had a cracked bone in her foot. Due to my grandmother’s dementia, she didn’t know if she had fallen or dropped something on her foot. My family and I decided my grandmother shouldn’t live on her own anymore. Do you desperately desire to protect an elderly loved one from harm? If he or she is currently living alone, consider placing your loved one in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. By making this move, you won’t have to worry anymore about the possibility of your relative falling with no one to help him or her. On this blog, I hope you will discover the numerous benefits of moving a senior loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Enjoy!