Protecting yourself as you grow older is important. It may be natural for your perspective to change. Your life experiences have provided an education that is uniquely yours. You have likely succeeded in ways you did not think possible when you were younger.

At the same time, aging can have significant effects on your mind. While planning for the unexpected is helpful, it does not offer you any guarantees of prolonged mental health. Even though you have prepared financial and healthcare powers of attorney in case of your incapacity, there are things you can do to help stay mentally sharp.

Staving off dementia

Dementia is not uncommon among the elderly. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), roughly 80 percent of older adults take supplements in effort to stave off forms of dementia. However, these supplements may not be effective.

While people continue to consume things marketed as Alzheimer’s drugs, the FDA is asking the companies who market such supplements to apply for agency approval. Or, without the agency’s backing, to stop making claims that their products are either safe or effective for disease prevention or treatment.

You can work to maintain your mental capacity

Despite evidence that vitamins or fish oil supplements can reduce the signs of dementia, there are things you can do to help maintain your brain function as you age, better protecting yourself as you grow older . You might be wise to:

  • Exercise
  • Develop meaningful relationships
  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Eat a nutritious diet
  • Engage your mind
  • Avoid excessive alcohol use

As it stands, there is no cure for dementia. However, taking steps to keep your mind sharp may help you maintain your independence for as long as possible. Even though you have estate planning documents in place with people designated to help you if, or when, you need assistance, you and your loved ones could benefit from time spent together as you age as gracefully as possible.