It is important at any age to engage in activities that stimulate the brain, but it is especially important for senior citizens. Stimulation of the brain keeps the mind sharp and can prolong some of the side effects of Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association recommends that matching games and puzzles be completed weekly for best results. Activities that require movement and hand-eye coordination, such as using a wrench to turn a bolt, picking items up off the floor with a grabber tool, playing with a pet, or playing a musical instrument will provide sensory stimulation that will benefit your loved one if done regularly.
It is also recommended that seniors spend time with children in their family. Statistically, grandparents who help care for their grandchildren are at a lower risk for memory disorders. If they already have a memory disorder, it will still be beneficial to help care for grandchildren however they can to stimulate their brain and it keeps them physically active.
Research shows that aerobic exercise can improve memory. Though it remains unclear how and which type of exercise is likely to bring about the best results, encourage your loved one to begin exercises that are suitable for them. It can be as simple as chair aerobic exercises if they have limited range of motion.
As well, creativity stimulates the brain. A disability or age shouldn’t mean they have to give up everything they enjoy, so get out that needlework, drawing or painting supplies or introduce them to something new! Hand-eye coordination is important at any age! Don’t forget to visit elder family members and reminisce with them, particularly for dementia patients. This activity has shown to make a positive impact.