It’s estimated that nearly six million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s disease. While many people may assume that there’s nothing they can do to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s this is actually not the case. There are several brain exercises for seniors as well as younger people that can help keep the mind healthy and sharp.
Stimulating the brain can help relieve some of the degenerative symptoms that are associated with Alzheimer’s. So continue reading and we’ll walk you through some of the best brain exercises for slowing down Alzheimer’s and dementia.
1. Complete a Puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles are fantastic brain stimulants. This is because they work out a person’s problem-solving skills and their abilities to form shapes. Completing puzzles is also a calming indoor activity that can promote attention to detail, focus, and concentration.
It can even help the player enter into a tranquil, meditative state. This can lead to a steady heart rate and lower blood pressure for some people.
And the sense of accomplishment when you finish a puzzle can bring feelings of fulfillment and happiness as well. As you put the pieces together, the feel-good hormone known as dopamine will be released in the brain.
2. Read the Newspaper Together
No matter what stage of Alzheimer’s your senior is in, they might enjoy hearing about current events or even just listening about what’s going on. Reading is an effective way to stimulate the brain. It promotes deep thinking and triggers other memories from the past as well as certain emotions.
3. Cook or Bake
Cooking up an easy recipe that your senior already loves is a good way to make them happy while also keeping their minds stimulated. Making some freshly squeezed lemonade, chocolate chip cookies, or putting together a tasty soup from scratch will not only give your senior a sense of accomplishment but leave a good taste in their mouth too!
Even better, try using an old family recipe to bring back memories from the old days and put a smile on their face too. By giving them the role of rolling the dough or mixing the ingredients, you can keep them engaged and active.
4. Arts and Crafts
Art is a powerful method for expression, especially for senior citizens who are experiencing memory loss. Especially for those who are having trouble with their speech skills in the later stages of Alzheimer’s.
But by painting with bright colors and interesting textures, your loved one can communicate their emotions and feelings in a visual and stimulating fashion.
Potting flowers and planting seeds can be a very peaceful way to spend time, as long as your not afraid to get a little dirty! Flowers are known to offer psychological benefits and are a great way to feel more connected with nature.
6. Scrapbooking and Organizing Old Photos
Much like completing puzzles, taking old pictures and arranging them into interesting patterns in a scrapbook can help the keep the mind working. But, scrapbooking can help to stir up old memories and strengthen neural connections in the brain.
When your loved one sees an old photograph from their childhood, they make remember an old story that you haven’t heard before. Old pictures could be just what they need to remember things that they haven’t thought about in years and become excited to share these stories with others.
7. Hold a Movie Marathon
Are you stuck inside for the day? Then this could be a perfect opportunity to have your very own movie marathon. Queue up some of your loved one’s favorite films and cook up some popcorn or other tasty treat.
Then, just sit back and spend some quality time together watching your senior’s favorite flicks.
8. Play a Few Rounds of Bingo
Bingo utilizes several skills and areas of the brain in order to play. First, it stimulates your hearing as you have to listen for the letters and numbers. You then have to look for those squares on the board and remember which one you’re looking for.
And if you don’t have the necessary bingo gear, don’t worry. There are several bingo calling websites online that will come up with numbers for you. So all you have to do is print out the bingo cards. And if you don’t have bingo chips, then just get some candy or even use a pen to cross off the squares that were called.
9. Chair Exercises
For seniors who are more active, then going on walks are probably part of their daily routine. But if the weather isn’t nice out, you can still stay active inside by performing chair exercises.
Put on some upbeat music and move around to the beat. Use tambourines, streamers, and maracas to have some fun and make some music yourself.
You can also keep your senior active by trying some yoga. Yoga is a slow-moving and relaxing practice that engages the brain and motor skills.
The Importance of Knowing About the Best Brain Exercises for Seniors
As we can see, there are various brain exercises for seniors that are easy to accomplish and fun as well. The important thing to remember is to go at their pace and keep them as engaged and stimulated as they want to be.
A major symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is difficulty communicating. Consider signing your senior up for speech therapy classes so that they can strengthen their neural connections and their speech skills too.
Contact us today and see what we can do for you and your loved ones!