For loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, cognitive decline is a common sign that affects their ability to remember or think well. As such, there’s no need for saying that this will negatively impact their quality of life, preventing them from functioning independently and performing other daily tasks, such as solving problems, remembering their place of residence, and many more. While there’s no medication to treat cognitive decline, there are effective ways to help build up cognitive health and boost brain strength, and one of those ways is to keep the mind active. As such, here are some brain exercises for your elderly loved ones.
Arts and Crafts
Partaking in arts and crafts brings about many benefits. Whether loved ones are painting, sculpting clay structures, or simply drawing, arts and crafts are not only good for mental health but also help in boosting several functions like concentration skills. This is due to the increase of dopamine, a brain chemical that triggers the production of specific neurons, which encourages the mind to focus and learn new information. Therefore, medical professionals have, for years, promoted artistic hobbies as a method to increase blood flow to the brain, strengthening cognitive health. What’s more, as mentioned above, arts and crafts help to alleviate stress and boost self-confidence, which are great for older adults who face social isolation and frequent low mood.
If your loved ones have a love for nature, that is good news as gardening is a wonderful activity that engages all the senses in their bodies. Considering that gardening can be regarded as a physical activity as well, this means that older adults are staying both physically and mentally active, which is always recommended in order to reduce the likelihood of illnesses and poor health. In general, the nature around us, including soil and plants, has been proven to have a healing impact on our health, causing us to feel more relaxed and focused. In fact, medical professionals have found that just being surrounded by nature can help to lower blood pressure, lessen the production of cortisol, and even prevent brain diseases such as dementia from arising.
It’s unfortunate that many older adults no longer cook as frequently as when they were younger as there are many benefits when it comes to cooking and preparing meals. From promoting sensory awareness, particularly taste and smell, to enhancing memory ability, cooking or cooking classes provide a great opportunity for older adults to engage their minds, all the while learning new recipes and whipping up a delicious meal. Cooking is such a highly effective method of boosting cognitive health that many retirement communities like Rittenhouse Village At Michigan City have introduced residents to this activity. Of course, in order to prevent any accidents from occurring, team members are always on-site to oversee and supervise the residents and provide assistance whenever required.
Let’s say the weather isn’t looking too good and your loved ones are encouraged to stay indoors as much as possible. In this case, they can look towards picking up an interesting book and relax in one corner. Reading is a popular pastime for many people, and for good reasons. Aside from engaging the mind, reading provides an opportunity for participants to educate themselves with new information, lower stress levels, and even promote imaginative abilities.