Or brain is one organ that continues to develop and grow until the age of 10. But as we age, our brain starts to shrink. The neural pathways in the brain operate on a use-it-or-lose-it basis.
Our mental connections weaken if the mind is not stimulated. This is one of the leading causes of the progression of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
A report from the Cochrane Library consolidated the findings of 15 studies that involved 718 men and women suffering from mild to moderate forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The findings stated that brain-stimulating activities for senior care such as puzzles, word games and discussion on current events improved memory and thinking test scores. The improvements were equivalent to a 6 to 9 month delay in the progression of Alzheimer’s and symptoms of other forms of dementia.
Keeping your senior’s mind active is a vital part of elderly care and can enable them to live happier and healthier lives ahead. Here are a few activities that can help you achieve this:
Reading a book
A good book is like an old friend. Reading is one of the easiest ways to keep your brain stimulated, keep your creative juices active and stimulate your imagination. Help your senior find reading material that they most enjoy and encourage them to switch things up from books to newspapers and even magazines!
Playing puzzles, board games and cross words
This is a simple way to ensure problem solving and decision-making areas of the brain remain active. Puzzles and crosswords and games like Sudoku can keep the brain active. Challenging the brain to think critically can keep the mind stimulated and active.
Exercise remains to be one of the most effective ways to keep the body physically and mentally active. Dance therapy sessions, yoga, walks are all forms of exercises that can impact the mental, emotional as well as physical well-being of your loved one.
Don’t forget the simple things!
It is important for your loved one to kill boredom. This can arise from simple solutions like changing up repetitive tasks.
For example, taking a different route while walking, challenging the brain by trying to use the non-dominant hand to brush teeth or even planning an outfit for the next day!
Spending time with grandchildren
It is no secret that grandparents tend to love their grandchildren more than they have loved their own children. Being around family and especially young children can help lift the spirits of the elderly. This is a sure-shot and effortless way to bring a smile to your loved one’s face.
Isolation can lead to depression, which can have an adverse effect on your loved one’s mental health and emotional well-being. If you live close by, try to visit your loved ones on a regular basis to make them feel connected to their family and reduce their sense of isolation.
Growing old can be a painful and exerting process for many senior adults. It is often difficult to come to terms with the fact that their bodies might not be performing like it used to, or that they may need help with simple daily tasks such as keeping up with their medication or basic hygiene.
Many senior adults tend to not ask for help or claim that they are doing fine in order to not burden their children. However, this can come at the cost of their health and mental well-being.
It is therefore best to keep your loved ones in a loop and gently explain to them why they may need assistance or why they may need to make adjustments in their daily routines or consider a senior care facility.
Are you based in the Kansas City metropolitan area? Need help with elder care, assisted living or independent living options? You may want to consider talking to a senior care consultant to help you with the process. An experienced consultant can help guide you make the right choices to improve the quality of life of your loved one by a great measure.