It’s not uncommon for seniors to experience some degree of memory loss or even develop more serious conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s. However, seniors can take a few measures to prevent conditions such as these or alleviate their symptoms, and one of the simplest ways to do this is by using the brain in new ways. The Bridgewater, NJ, in-home senior care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss 4 ways your senior loved one can train his or her brain.
1. Learn Something New
Processing new information exercises the brain by presenting it with something both novel and challenging. The new info can be something as simple as memorizing a poem or taking a class to learn a foreign language. If possible, your loved one should try to find activities that involve multiple senses, such as cooking, gardening, or even sports. Not only do these activities require your loved one to use multiple parts of the brain simultaneously, but they can also enhance his or her hand-eye coordination and fine and gross motor skills.
2. Step Out of the Daily Routine
Having your loved one perform routine tasks in a new way forces him or her to stop relying on long-term memory and utilize different parts of the brain. For example, you can take a new way home from the grocery store and ask your loved one to recall the route. You can even have your loved one try to perform tasks with his or her non-dominant hand so he or she has to use the opposite side of the brain.
3. Play Word and Number Games
Word and number games or puzzles engage the brain by forcing it to recall and combine information in creative ways. For example, you and your loved one can take turns naming places, animals, and objects that start with each letter of the alphabet. You can make the game even more challenging by also naming all of the previous items in the list. Journaling and reading books with twists and turns that surprise the mind are also good ways to harness the power of words to boost brain power.
4. Practice Observational Skills
Paying attention to the small details of our environment challenges the brain and forces us to use multiple senses. Try taking a daily walk with your loved one and encourage him or her to pay attention to the things he or she sees, hears, and smells along the way. When you get back home, ask your loved one to describe the things he or she noticed, such as the color of the flowers in the neighbor’s garden.
Another way your loved one can keep his or her brain in shape is by participating in fun and mentally stimulating activities. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which uses brain-boosting activities to help slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. In addition to dementia and Alzheimer’s home care Bridgewater, NJ, seniors trust, we also offer Parkinson’s and stroke care. For more information on CTM and our other in-home care services, please call 908.450.9400 today.