Memory Exercises to Keep Seniors’ Minds Sharp

June 14, 2019 | BY PHS Staff

Mental exercises can help seniors combat the effects of Alzheimer’s

Mental exercises can help seniors combat the effects of Alzheimer’s

Some excellent ways to help combat the negative effects of Alzheimer’s disease include regular exercise, eating a plant-based diet, getting quality sleep, reducing stress, and regular social engagement. However, if you want to help keep your loved one’s memory sharp, his/her mind must be stimulated — this is the main focus of our Alzheimer’s Care program.

Here are a few activities we recommend to help stimulate the mind and reduce the effects Alzheimer’s has on the brain.

Gardening

Gardening not only reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety in people with Alzheimer’s, it improves brain function and dexterity. A recent study conducted by Japanese researchers found that Alzheimer’s patients flourish in cognitive abilities and communication after they participate in gardening activities, according to University of Salford & Hearthstone Alzheimer Care.

It also gives patients a sense of independence, which can be important psychologically if there’s already a need for senior home care or in-home care supervision.

If you need someone to look after your loved one, our caregivers are available through our Alzheimer’s memory care service.  We’ll even assign him/her to an in-home caregiver that’s more like a friend than a typical home care aide you see with traditional home care services for seniors.

Cooking & Learning New Recipes

Engages the Senses

Sight, smell, touch and taste are senses that involve various parts of the brain. Learning a new recipe is a great activity that stimulates the brain and improves memory among older adults with Alzheimer’s.

Promotes Memory Recall

New recipes often require ingredients you don’t already have. Have your loved one make a list of grocery items to prepare for the new meal. To make this a bit of a challenge you can try waiting about 60 minutes and then determine how many things your loved one can remember. Make this exercise fun and conversational. Avoid making it seem like you’re testing your loved one. Make the conversation seem natural.

The key to brain stimulation is to make the exercise as challenging as possible. So, throw in a few cooking steps to make it more interesting.

If you need someone to help transport your loved one to pick up groceries or for a doctors appointment, our Memory Care and in-home care services can help.

Learn a Second Language

Why is bilingualism so effective for Alzheimer’s patients? Mainly because the listening and hearing involved stimulates the brain.

Additionally, it helps the patient develop a rich vocabulary, and decreases the chances of cognitive decline. Studies have also proven that it protects seniors after the disease starts to affect cognitive function, according to psychologist Ellen Bialystok.

If you’re not sure where to begin, apps like iTranslate Lingo make learning a new language fun and simple.  The language exercises let the user learn four words per lesson, five minutes daily. Simply download the app to a senior’s iPad or Tablet—there are 14 languages to choose from.

Learn to Play a New Instrument

There’s no maximum age limit when it comes to learning, especially learning to play an instrument. Learning a new instrument stimulates the brain. Scientific studies have discovered that when senior citizens learn a new, challenging activity, such as learning to play an instrument, over a prolonged amount of time, it can enhance the memory.

There are a plethora of activities that can help stimulate the memory. The activities mentioned earlier are all proven to have a positive effect on enhancing memory.

If your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or you know someone who is suffering, Preferred HealthStaff Alzheimer’s Care service may be just what he/she needs to help improve the quality of his/her life. For a free consultation on how our programs can help you or your loved one, contact us or call 1-866-943-9791 for a free consultation.