Fun-loving seniors may find doing the typical brain-training games such as puzzles to be too mundane for their interests. If your senior loved one tends to prefer more exciting ventures, suggest trying a few of these five unconventional strategies to keep his or her mind sharp.
1. Engage Multiple Senses
The brain often relies on physical cues to recall information, which is why people sometimes recall memories when inhaling certain scents. Your loved one can use this same concept to reinforce new things he or she learns by incorporating senses that aren’t normally stimulated during a particular activity. For instance, chewing sugar-free gum trains the brain to work harder as it tries to remember someone’s name or a fact, since it also senses the flavour. Alternatively, your loved one could stroke a soft piece of fabric while you research a new topic together. Involving multiple senses can strengthen new memories.
Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Practise the Art of Delegation
People often think keeping up with a long list of tasks helps them stay sharper. However, trying to remember a lot of tedious things can negatively impact the memory. Help your loved one automate tasks around the house, such as locking the doors at night. He or she will love the fun involved with playing with new technology. Then delegate mundane chores to a caregiver so your loved one can free his or her mind for more creative thinking.
3. Get Physically Active
Regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain. However, your loved one may need to change his or her exercise routine to get the most mentally stimulating benefits. After checking with the physician, have your loved one try a new form of exercise, such as hiking on natural terrain or doing yoga. Doing something new forces the brain to think differently while moving the body.
Seniors may require help exercising. However, family caregivers often have other responsibilities that prevent them from helping their loved ones with physical activity. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Waterloo, ON, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Sing an Old Favourite Song
Music is often used to help people remember common information, and setting new words or a procedure to a tune may make things easier to remember. However, your loved one can also use an old favourite song to boost his or her memory. Singing a song from memory activates the parts of the brain associated with long-term storage. Over time, singing may help your loved one continue to remember things for longer.
5. Do Some Daring Dancing
Dancing involves music, physical activity, and the engagement of multiple senses at the same time. For dancing to effectively boost memory, your loved one should pick a dance type that’s out of his or her normal repertoire. For instance, your loved one could try out a country-western dance class if he or she has always preferred ballroom. Learning something completely out of the normal routine helps your loved one stay sharp as he or she ages.
Hiring professional caregivers is one of the best ways to help seniors boost their cognitive health and continue living at home safely and comfortably. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Waterloo families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ 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. Call Home Care Assistance today at (519) 954-2111 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.