Changes to dopamine levels in an elderly person’s brain can lead to a host of serious health conditions, especially if those levels get too low. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care Summit, NJ, families trust, discuss a few of the ways people over 65 can benefit from increased dopamine in the brain.
1. Faster Metabolism
One of the primary jobs of dopamine is to stimulate metabolism, which is why so many older adults with low dopamine levels have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. A slow metabolism is especially dangerous for seniors because they tend to have much higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other weight-related concerns. Exercising for just 20 or 30 minutes a day not only burns calories, but it is also one of the best ways to naturally increase dopamine levels.
2. Better Sleep
A hormone known as norepinephrine is responsible for the production and release of melatonin. This natural chemical tells our bodies when to sleep, and it cannot accomplish this task unless dopamine molecules trigger the norepinephrine when we are getting ready for bed. Listening to quiet or melodic music just before going to sleep is an excellent way for seniors to increase the production of dopamine and trigger the release of melatonin.
3. Enhanced Cognitive Reasoning
In addition to altering how we sleep and feel, dopamine also has a big impact on our memories. Seniors who have very low dopamine levels tend to have problems with their working memory. They often find it difficult to focus their attention on a single subject or conversation. Taking some time each day to learn about a new subject or work on a new skill helps regulate dopamine levels in the cortex and other vital areas of the brain.
4. A Positive Outlook
Dopamine is one of the key chemicals that affects how we perceive the world around us. Low dopamine levels almost always accompany emotional disorders like anxiety and depression. Foods containing the chemical known as tyrosine have been proven to naturally increase dopamine levels. Some of the foods you might want to add to your senior loved one’s diet include almonds, avocados, eggs, and watermelon.
If you loved one needs help maintaining healthy dopamine levels, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide social and mental stimulation, encourage better sleep hygiene, and assist with various tasks around the house. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, stroke, and dementia home care Summit seniors can count on. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers today at 908.450.9400.