Is your elderly family member starting to exhibit forgetfulness more often now? As we age, remembering details like where we last put our glasses, whether we have taken our medication, and even the name of a childhood friend can be a challenge. Exploring cognitive activities for your loved ones can improve their cognitive health, among many other benefits, and keep their minds sharp.
Cognitive Decline Is Part of Aging
Subtle and gradual cognitive decline that includes short-term memory, longer processing speed, and a decreased attention span are natural parts of aging for those who do not have any brain-related diagnosis. Even the sharpest individuals will show small signs of cognitive decline. However, a more rapid and progressive decline is usually indicative of dementia or other memory-related disorders, which are not normal and need to be checked out by a doctor.
Importance of Cognitive Activities for Loved Ones
Just as the body needs physical exercise to keep fit, the brain needs mental exercise to keep itself sharp too, especially for aging individuals. Fortunately, your brain is like any other muscle. For individuals who wish to slow the decline of their cognitive health, there are various steps you can take. Mental exercises stimulate the brain, often providing long-lasting positive effects related to processing speed, memory, reasoning skills, and thinking, keeping the brain limber and healthy.
Cognitive Activities for Loved Ones
To keep your loved one’s brain active and healthy, let’s look at a list of activities you can easily work into your daily or weekly routine that can have a positive impact on your cognitive skills.
- Learning a new language – Besides allowing us to connect with others from around the world, research has shown this improves one’s thinking skills and memory abilities. Your brain’s language centers are extremely flexible and learning a new language can improve your brain’s natural ability to focus and develop new parts of the brain.
- Engaging in meaningful conversation – Conversation is not just a linguistic exchange, but also a social interaction we know is crucial to cognitive development. As people age, they often are more withdrawn from social interaction, giving them fewer opportunities to talk to others about things that are important to them. Encouraging your loved one to participate in more positive social activities can strengthen neural circuits in the brain, slowing cognitive decline
- Picking up a new hobby – This is an excellent way for individuals to maintain their hand-eye coordination and motor skills, keeping their brain alert and active. The key here is that they are training their brain to do something unfamiliar, which will keep it alert.
- Walking in nature – If physical activity is possible, spending time outside in nature has been shown to promote the feeling of connectedness to themselves and their surroundings. Individuals are also more likely to engage in mindful walking where they focus on being introspective during such activities.
Why Choose Rittenhouse At Muhlenberg?
Residing in a senior living community allows for numerous opportunities throughout the day to engage in cognitive activities. At Rittenhouse At Muhlenberg, we offer a warm and supportive community that encourages your loved one to remain physically and mentally active alongside like-minded individuals.
If you have any inquiries about our range of services, don’t hesitate to contact us or call 610.477.3936 today.