Older adults are advised to continue being active throughout their lives by engaging in physical exercise. To maintain cognitive health, the brain also needs routine exercise. Stimulating various regions of the brain encourages the development of new communication pathways between neurons.
The Rubik’s Cube has been around a long time and continues frustrating and fascinating all who attempt to solve the puzzle. The cube was designed as an advanced puzzle. As such, it stimulates many areas of the brain. While trying to match the colored squares on all sides of the cube, older adults are using visual memory, problem-solving skills, and strategizing abilities while engaging in deep concentration.
Switching Hands for Various Tasks
Using the opposite hand and arm to complete common tasks wakes the brain. The activity costs nothing and may be used to perform a variety of daily activities. The reward involves stimulating the opposite side of the brain to increase the number of neural pathways. Switching hands requires the brain to learn something new and involves visual stimulation along with concentration to get the muscles, connective tissues, and joints in the opposite hand and arm to perform a different function.
Board games, card games, and video games require strategy, problem-solving, visual memory, and fine motor skills to try to win a game. Whether the games involve pictures, numbers, or words, the activity enhances cognitive ability. Video games played on a self-contained gaming device, a mobile device, or a computer may include a traditional game platform or involve something entirely new. The colors, animation, sounds, and gameplay requirements provide even more stimulation. Video games require coordinating visual and physical activity to accomplish specific tasks.
An in-home caregiver can be a terrific game-playing companion for your loved one. Senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
In 2018, a group of researchers studied the effects of putting together jigsaw puzzles and published their results in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. They found doing the puzzles protects visual-spatial cognitive abilities. Older adults must identify the shapes that fit together while also attempting to match colors within each area of the puzzle. Working the puzzles is also good for honing fine motor skills.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Chandler families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Listening to familiar music challenges seniors to remember the words to songs. The mere act of listening also stimulates the brain. Playing an instrument engages a wider range of brain activity. A study performed in San Diego revealed musicians demonstrate faster reaction times and have better overall sustained cognitive ability. It’s also never too late for an older adult to learn how to play an instrument.
Memory is often one of the first cognitive abilities to diminish as adults become older. As such, engaging in memorization strengthens this ability. Seniors might consider learning the words to a new song, memorizing and reciting a favorite poem, or remembering passages from a favorite book. Starting a new hobby, learning a language, or developing a new skill requires memory to accomplish the end result.
A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can also help your loved one strengthen his or her memory skills. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Chandler, AZ, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (480) 448-6215.