Cognitive Health In The Elderly

Cognitive health is a state in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the stresses of day to day activities, can work productively and fruitfully, and thrive in his or her environment. Mental well being can change, from day to day, month to month and year to year. We all have times when we feel sad or stressed, or find it difficult to cope. As we age our brains ability to function becomes compromised, we may be more forgetful, more reclusive, and more stubborn in our ways. So let me ask you.

  • How you are feeling and how well can you cope with day-to-day life?

  • Do you feel relatively confident in yourself?

  • Do you value and accept yourself and judge yourself realistic with reasonable standards?

  • Are you able to express your emotions? Are you engaging the world around you?

  • Are you going through addiction? Have you had a successful recovery?

What can affect my Mental Well-being?

We know that traumatic past scenarios such as poverty, death in the family, addictions, physical injuries and/or social isolation may make you more vulnerable to experience poor mental health. What many people do not realize is that your gut health, heavy metal exposure, environmental pollutants, and genetics are key factors that influence your mental resilience and well being.

For example, the vital aspect of our digestive system is its role in the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, also known as the "Feel Good Hormone”. Our gut is called the body's "second brain" because of its role in producing over 95% of our body's serotonin, which has been linked to everything from autism to constipation. This chemical messenger also regulates aggression, appetite, cognition, mood, sexual behavior, and even sleep.

  • The Mayo Clinic found that serotonin plays a key role in controlling depression.
  • The Brain, Behavior, and Immunity journal reports that tryptophan, the amino acid from which serotonin is made in our body assists in memory retention as well as maintaining a good mood, especially among people with a family history of depression.

Whether you have a cognitive health problem or not, there will be always times in your life that are more difficult than others, however, the capacity to stay mentally well during those times is your personal resilience and coping mechanism, so that you can deal with everyday life and face difficult situations at your personal best. This is especially true for the elderly.