Tips to maintain brain cognitive function and avoid senility at old age

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ILLUSTRATION Elderly knitting activities. (Photo: islampos.com)
ILLUSTRATION Elderly knitting activities. (Photo: islampos.com)

UNAIR NEWS – Cognitive function of the brain is important because it plays an active role in determining a person’s quality of life. Optimal cognitive function is needed by all individuals throughout the ages, but in general, cognitive function declines at old age.

Elida Ulfiana, S.Kep., Ns., M.Kep, a nursing lecturer and expert of Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR), explained how important it is to maintain the cognitive function of the brain in the elderly community. Maintaining cognitive functions can be done in simple ways such as writing, drawing, and doing activities that trigger creativity.

“Maintaining the cognitive function of the brain is able to help the elderly to live better. Like what we do at partner integrated healthcare post (Posyandu), we teach the elderly to make batik because it has an identification process in it, “Elida said.

Making batik patterns involves coordination of images seen by the eye and a process of the brain on information and understanding. The response when drawing involves elderly motoric skill with fingers. At the same time the process of identifying the pattern part is an aspect of registration in cognitive function.

In the creative process, it has higher difficulty than drawing a pattern with a pencil as canting requires coordination of both hands. The left hand supports the fabric and the right hand moves the canting. Furthermore, fine motor works more because the drawing process must be in a careful and thorough manner with patient, concentration and control of emotion.

At the coloring stage, the color can be chosen according to the original or according to the wish of the elderly. If this process is carried out together, the elderly will share ideas for color selection through discussion. The agreement then led to an order that is done by the elderly and it was an aspect of language in cognitive function.

According to Elida, in addition to making batik, simple ways to maintain positive functions can be done by implementing a healthy lifestyle, eating foods containing omega 3 for brain nutrition, exercise, brain gym, and tai chi. Moreover, doing physical activity, hobbies, avoiding alcohol, smoking, and stress management are other steps to maintain cognitive function of the brain.

“The advantage of maintaining cognitive function is not only to maintain quality life. It can also overcome senility problems, improve concentration, control stress, improve mood, and also sharpen memory. Therefore, the application of a healthy lifestyle and exercise since childhood is highly recommended, “said Elida. (*)

Author: Muhammad Wildan Suyuti

Editor: Feri Fenoria Rifa’i

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