Maintaining cognitive health during the senior years requires routinely exercising the brain. Various mental exercises stimulate multiple regions of the brain. The following activities encourage the development of additional communication pathways between neurons along with promoting new neuron development.
Some seniors enjoy putting together jigsaw puzzles, which stimulate the visual center of the brain. Seniors must also use problem-solving skills to match the colors and shapes of the pieces with where they might fit into the total picture. Crossword puzzles are another option. Older adults stimulate their language, memory, and problem-solving skills to solve clues with the right words. Sudoku requires memory and problem-solving skills to correctly place the numbers one through nine in the right squares to complete the puzzles.
Statistics indicate seniors who regularly engage in crafts reduce their risk of memory loss by 30 to 50 percent. There are many options, including crocheting, knitting, sewing, painting, and woodworking. When following sets of instructions or patterns, older adults stimulate their brains’ language comprehension and memory centers. Working with the hands enhances fine motor skills while stimulating yet another region of the brain. Problem-solving and visual centers are activated while working on crafts.
A home caregiver can help your loved one perform exercises that increase manual dexterity as well as cognitive function. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Mesa families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Singing and listening to music encourage alertness while stimulating emotions and the auditory and memory centers of the brain. Playing an instrument also requires fine motor skills. If an older adult tries to learn new music or attempts to learn to play an instrument, more areas of the brain become involved. Music is also a useful tool for alleviating anxiety, depression, and stress, all of which hinder cognitive function.
Many older adults enjoy creating and tending gardens. The activity is known to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which affects the learning and memory centers of the brain. Planning and preparing to plant a garden require strategy and problem-solving abilities. Gardening has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing dementia by up to 36 percent. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health reports being outdoors while tending a garden increases the production of vitamin D, which is known to have neurological-protective properties.
5. Video Games
Video games might be played on a traditional gaming console or on a computer, cell phone, or other mobile device. The vast selection of available games ensures older adults can find one of interest. The colors and animated effects stimulate the visual center. Playing requires logic and reasoning along with strategy and problem-solving skills.
6. Board Games
Many board games require memory, language, strategy, and problem-solving skills while stimulating the visual center. Moving game pieces enhances fine motor skills.
An in-home caregiver can be a terrific game-playing companion for your loved one. Elderly home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
7. Tai Chi
The ancient practice of tai chi uses a combination of focused breathing and fluid physical movements. While doing tai chi, seniors must concentrate on their breathing patterns along with ensuring they’re performing the correct movements, which stimulates multiple cognitive areas.
Professional caregivers with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can help seniors strengthen their mental skills. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Mesa, AZ, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (480) 699-4899 today.