ACCESS Nursing News and Blog

Getting Better With Age: Building Your Brain


Many people are intimidated by the aging process, but they don’t need to be. It’s true that as we age, our bodies go through a lot of changes. On the outside we change physically and there are a lot of internal changes that occur too, including the size and functioning of our brain. But, fortunately, current research has found that with good nutrition, exercise and other tools and techniques, many aspects of aging can be delayed, including brain aging and memory.

Many of our thinking abilities peak around age 30, but then subtly decline with age. There are specific age-related changes in brain structure, such as a decreased hippocampal and frontal and temporal lobe volumes, which contribute to some of the changes in thinking. These changes include a reduced ability to retain information, slower thinking processes, difficulties with focus and attention, multitasking and word-finding. You may start forgetting someone’s name, have trouble remembering what you came into a room for or forget where you put something. Don’t think the worst, this does not mean you are on your way to dementia, it is normal brain aging.

There are ways, however, to forestall mental declines and even restore memory by incorporating regular exercise into your life routine. Aerobic exercise increases capillary development in the brain which leads to more blood supply and nutrients, and more oxygen, which is essential for brain health. Good nutrition is essential as well in order to maintain brain health. High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity can contribute to decreased brain function.

In addition, there is new research that shows how we can train our brains to stay “young” and sharp. With the right tools and techniques, people of any age can train their brains to be faster and more effective. Not all thinking abilities decline with age. In fact, vocabulary, reading and verbal reasoning remain unchanged or even improve during the aging process. And, as the brain ages, judgement becomes better as does rationalization. The brain is smart and as it begins to slow, more of the brain is being used. For seniors this means both sides of your brain are working together. So, it becomes critical to focus on your abilities and learn how to best maintain or even improve them.

ACCESS Nursing offers a “Brain Builder” program led by Cognitive Coaches, who are expertly trained to improve engagement and optimize the brain function, especially for those age 65 and above. Louise Weadock, RN, MPH – psychiatric nurse and founder of ACCESS Nursing has worked with top clinical specialists in the Northeast to develop the essential components of a rehabilitative Brain Builder program that can strengthen your brain and improve your memory function.

The Brain Builder regime also works to increase the rehab rebound rate after surgery and avoid harmful falls with an easy seven steps to re-ambulation after a stroke or catastrophic injury. This regime also works to slow down the Neuro-Cognitive Destruction of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia, ALS, MS or TBI.