There are many links between brain health, physical health and mental health. VA’s booklet, Brain Health and Quality of Life in Aging: Tips on Staying Sharp and Active, lists some of the reasons for problems with memory and thinking and what you can do about them.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Brain Health
VA also has one-page handouts on the topics listed below that offer more detailed tips for taking care of your brain health.
Physical Activity – Being active is linked to healthy aging and staying independent.
To learn more, read Be Active and Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices.
Medical Problems – During times of illness, the brain does not work well. Sometimes this can be serious enough to cause delirium, which is also known as “acute brain failure.” Some medical problems can cause trouble with thinking if they are not well managed.
To learn more, read Address Medical Problems: Your Body and Brain Work Together.
Medication Side Effects – Medications or combinations of medications can make you confused, less alert, or affect your thinking.
To learn more, read Watch for Medication Side Effects.
Vision and Hearing – Our eyes, ears, and brain work as a team. As we age, vision and hearing change. Studies show that improved vision and hearing helps to keep the brain sharp.
To learn more, read Vision and Hearing.
Sleep – Poor sleep can be a cause of problems with memory and thinking.
To learn more, read Sleep Well.
Mental Health – Mental well-being plays a key role in thinking, memory and making decisions.
To learn more, read Take Care of Your Mental Health: Cope with Stress, Depression & Anxiety.
PTSD – PTSD has many features, each of which can interfere with memory and focus.
To learn more, read Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Loneliness – Being lonely can increase risk for cognitive decline.
To learn more, read Stay Connected and Feel Less Lonely.