Senior woman participates in a mind-engaging activity.

The Importance of Brain Health for Seniors

August 17, 2020 | Alzheimer's & Dementia

Our brains are responsible for our senses, emotions and behaviors, helping us better understand and interact with the world around us. When your brain is healthy, you’re able to maintain a clean mindset and do the things you love to do every day without any complications.

Maintaining a healthy mind is important for everyone, but it’s essential for seniors as they age. If your parent is struggling with dementia or was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, activities that stimulate their cognition and memory are more important than ever.

9 Ways to Keep Your Loved One’s Memory Sharp

Did you know that games, puzzles, and eating well can aid cognition and memory care? These nine different activities can help keep your parent’s memory sharp as they age:

  1. Play Brain Games. An interactive, fun way your parent can improve their memory is through playing a variety of brain games, such as sudoku and crossword puzzles. These games test your loved one’s mathematical abilities and memory, while simultaneously helping them exercise their mental muscles.
  2. Get Moderate Exercise. Staying physically active is imperative to your loved one’s mental health. Simply getting up every 30 minutes to stretch can help your parent stay healthy. Encourage being active by adding simple activities into everyday life such as yoga, walking, riding a stationary bicycle or doing chairobics. Even routine activities like putting away groceries, completing chores and cleaning up around the house are great ways to stay physically active and improve hand-eye coordination.
  3. Eat a Balanced Diet. A well-balanced, healthy diet benefits both the body and brain. According to the Harvard Health Medical School, high-quality foods that contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidant protect the brain from oxidative stress and nourish cognitive abilities.
  4. Prepare a Meal Together. The act of cooking involves planning, preparing ingredients, and conversation. These tasks can stir memories and stimulate the mind, providing a healthy cerebral workout. Your parent can help with tasks like setting the table while you cook or kneading the dough before you bake something.Try to prepare meals together on a regular basis to help strengthen your relationship and keep their mind sharp.  
  5. Get Creative. Crafting, painting and drawing are great activities that can help your loved one continue to strengthen their mind as they age. Simple crafts like creating objects with clay or other manual projects can stimulate the mind and encourage your parent to use their creative side. 
  6. Spend Time with Animals. There are many health benefits to spending time with animals. Research  shows that regularly playing with pets can help decrease blood pressure and stress and increase feelings of happiness. When your parent is feeling happier, they are more likely to think positively.
  7. Play Mind-Engaging Games. There are many creative games to play to help stimulate the brain. Board games, Scrabble, card games, dominoes, memory games and sorting games are all great options to engage your loved one’s mind. Bridge is another great option if your parent is able to play. Research has shown that playing bridge can help seniors improve their cognitive abilities and can even stimulate the part of the brain that impacts immune health.
  8. Be Socially Active. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, regular social interactions can support brain health and can even delay the onset of dementia. Encourage your parent to spend time with people in their community and maintain their social life with friends and family.
  9. Listen to Music. Research shows that listening to music can awaken the brain and improve cognitive skills, such as working memory and recognition memory. Encourage your parent to turn on their favorite tunes from time to time to help boost their mood and memory.

Find Compassionate Memory Support at CC Young

CC Young is dedicated to improving and enriching the lives of all of our residents. We provide compassionate memory support to those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Memory support services are specifically designed to help seniors living with cognitive impairments due to dementia. Our specially trained staff helps each resident live as independently as possible and encourages social activity, engagement and continued learning. As a proud MUSIC & MEMORY® Certified Care Organization, personalized music programs are offered to residents to help them reconnect with friends and family.

Contact us today at 214-817-0485 to learn more about what memory support could look like for your parent at CC Young.

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