You’ve definitely heard about the importance of physical fitness for seniors, but did you know that it’s also important to exercise their minds? Studies show that elderly brains really benefit from mental stimulation of all kinds. So-called brain games are a big industry right now, with thousands of fun and interesting workbooks, board games and digital apps to choose from.
Brain games and activities can boost mental stamina, enhance focus and concentration, aid memory and even contribute to critical thinking abilities. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to introduce anti-aging activities to your elderly loved one and their brain.
Play Some Brain Games
From checkers and puzzles to video games and board games, there are plenty of different types of games out there to brighten an elderly person’s day. Anything that is intellectually stimulating and challenges the elderly loved one to think through situations in new ways will benefit the brain. Of course, variety is important, so you can encourage them to enjoy something new each day or week. Seniors many need assistance in finding and setting up digital games on an electronic device, but once they figure out how to play, they will be hooked, just like their younger relatives.
Games are designed to focus on some very specific cognitive activities, so to keep elderly brains from diminishing, it’s important that family caregivers come up with additional mental stimulation. Experts agree that when thought processes are in a rut, there isn’t much that challenges the brain. Ideas for creating mental challenges include trying a new recipe, learning a new hobby, starting foreign language classes, listening to podcasts, doing everyday tasks with a non-dominant hand and learning to knit, paint or draw. Any activity that forces the brain to figure out what to do is ideal for seniors.
Memory and Recollection
Another way to help seniors stay mentally strong is to work with them on memory and recollection. This can be as easy as grabbing the nearest photo album and going through it together. Ask about the details of people in the pictures and give your aging loved one a chance to dig deep into their memories. Many family members also conduct interviews with aging loved ones to preserve their personal history and get more details on family history. When elderly loved ones have the chance to stroll down memory lane, they are sharpening their recall and connecting thoughts and language together for the benefit of future generations as well as themselves.
Physical Health and Wellness
Of course, the brain is an organ and it can only be as healthy as the body is. For seniors to have the best mental abilities and keep their mind as sharp as possible, they need to exercise and eat right. A healthy body means a healthy brain, so when seniors take care of themselves with nutritious food and regular physical activity, their brains will be healthier as well. Family caregivers, home care assistants, family members and anyone else associated with someone’s elderly care plan must make it possible for their aging loved one to be as physically healthy as possible so they can reap the benefits of a healthy brain.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in East Lansing, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.