Without regular mental stimulation, seniors run the risk of experiencing memory loss and developing conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s, which makes it important to come up with fresh ways to keep the mind active. Summit home care professionals discuss 4 unique ways your elderly loved one can exercise his or her brain and keep it sharp.
1. Get the Grandkids Involved
Setting up scenarios where seniors and their grandkids interact over a hobby or game can offer them a number of amazing benefits. In addition to providing social stimulation, teamwork can have a profound impact on a senior’s cognitive health. Some of the activities your loved one and the grandkids might enjoy include puzzles, card games, video games, scavenger hunts, board games, and art projects like creating a scrapbook.
2. Spend More Time in the Kitchen
Cooking a complex meal requires a number of different cognitive skills, including reasoning, timing, and spatial awareness. Seniors who cook their own meals also have to solve problems quickly, and the constant stimulation is highly beneficial to their mental health. Before starting a meal, make sure all the items your loved one needs are at waist-level so he or she does not have to bend over or reach into high cupboards.
3. Start a Diary
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found writing in a diary has a profound impact on a person’s mental and psychological health. By putting thoughts down in writing, it often frees up the mind for other mental activities. As an added bonus, your loved one can further challenge his or her mind by learning how to use a laptop or PC to write down memories.
4. Visit Local Historical Sites
Seniors are never too old to learn more about the history of their town, state, and country. Most museums and historical sites are very accommodating to older patrons who have limited mobility or dexterity, and they are often discounted or completely free for visitors over age 65. Instead of being a passive visitor, your loved one should try to spend some time reading the signs and getting a true sense of what he or she is looking at.
If your loved one needs more mental stimulation in his or her life, turn to Home Care Assistance. We offer a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses fun and engaging activities to boost brain health. In addition to dementia and Alzheimer’s care Summit seniors can count on, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s and post-stroke care. For more information on our in-home care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.