According to The Aging Mind: Opportunities in Cognitive Research by the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Future Directions for Cognitive Research, “For the many aging people in good physical condition, cognitive decline is the main threat to their ability to continue enjoying their favorite activities; for those whose physical activities are limited, cognitive decline is a major additional threat to quality of life.”
The NRC book also notes that, “The view that aging is synonymous with universal and rapid cognitive decline is giving way to a recognition that for some aging individuals, mental acuity continues well into advanced age.“
In addition, “Moreover, recent scientific findings give growing reason to believe that it may be possible to help older people maintain more of their cognitive function into later years.”
Top 5 Ways to Enhance Mental Acuity and Focus with Age: (Psychology Today)
Challenge Yourself Mentally – Try learning a new language; take up playing chess or a video game; enroll in continuing education, teach a child to learn to read.
Control Stress – Through meditation – mindfulness training - you can dissipate daily stresses and lower blood pressure. A daily ten to twenty-minute break in the action can go a long way to uncluttering your mind.
Emphasize Omega 3’s –Cold water fish, walnuts, and fish oil supplements, especially DHA, have been show to improve cognitive function. The brain has a high DHA content by weight.
Exercise – Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to improve mental function by increasing blood flow and nutrients in the brain.
Get Adequate Sleep – According to Psychology Today, “Many studies show the brain is processing the day’s events while you sleep and consolidating them in memory. This kind of ‘off-line’ rehearsal occurs just for the learning experiences on the day of sleep. Naps help too!”