As people age, it’s extremely important that they take care of their brain health. There are certain activities that are effective in keeping memory sharp. Staying mentally active is a challenge, especially if the senior is retired or is lacking social stimulation which is a huge problem during the pandemic.
Even with today’s limited ability to socialize due to the pandemic, there are exercises that can help to keep the brain functioning. Allcare Home Health Agency, Inc caregivers are trained to perform these exercises with our clients in an effort to stimulate the brain and delay cognitive decline for as long as possible. The following exercises, combined with healthy eating, staying physically active, and doctor-approved nutritional supplements can help to keep the mind sharp and the mood pleasant.
Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind Sharp and Enhance Your Mood
- Exercise – There are many options for exercise available for seniors on all activity levels including walking in place, yoga, mobility exercises, Tai Chi, and more. Most of these can be done in the home. The benefits of exercise on the brain are so profound that researchers have found that seniors who exercise regularly are significantly less likely to develop dementia than seniors who don’t.
- Puzzles and Word Games – Word games help to keep language skills sharp while stimulating problem-solving areas of the brain. Scrabble is a fun game that can be played against a computer or with a family member. It helps to improve memory as well as knowledge. Puzzles require the “player” to recognize patterns and use logic to solve problems. In addition to the classic piece puzzles, there are puzzles that require working with the hands and involve both mental and physical engagement.
- Music – It is no secret that music is very therapeutic, not only for the brain but for the entire body. Researchers have shown that classical music is very soothing and can improve brain function in people of all ages. Listening to one’s favorite music, no matter what genre, can maintain and improve brain health. For many seniors with dementia, playing Big Band music from their generation is not only therapeutic but stimulates and boosts memory.
- Gardening – Gardening is an excellent activity for seniors. Not only does it require physical activity, it also requires problem-solving skills, dexterity and can engage most of the senses. Gardening can improve heart health, decrease stress by reducing cortisol levels, improve mood and decrease depression symptoms. An interesting fact is that scientists have proven that the earth emits electromagnetic waves that energize human cells and have a healing impact on the entire body!
Foods for Brain Health and Memory
- Green Tea – Green Tea contains polyphenols and tannins that help to keep glucose levels steady in the brain and can also protect brain tissues from damage in the event of a stroke. In addition, it contains a small amount of caffeine to promote wakefulness.
- Tumeric – Research shows that Tumeric decreases beta-amyloid plaques in Alzheimers patients while reducing inflammation and the formation of microglia in the brain.
- Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in older individuals because the digestive system gets less efficient at absorbing it. Seniors who receive B12 injections are less likely to develop B12-related dementia which is much like Alzheimer’s.
- Magnesium – Many times, cognitive decline can be related to sleep problems. Magnesium has a relaxing effect on the body and can enhance brain health by promoting the conversion of precursors into neurotransmitters and by opening up blood vessels in the brain. Taking high doses of Magnesium can even lower blood pressure.
As always, do not add any supplements to your senior loved one’s diet before first consulting their physician.
There are times when the challenges associated with advanced age, a prolonged illness, or chronic condition may make in-home care and assistance a necessity. At Allcare Home Health Agency, Inc, we’re available 24/7 for our clients and their family members. Our compassionate, professional team of caregivers, RNs, and office staff will treat your senior loved one with the respect that they deserve, all with their own unique life story.
Call us today at (919) 301-0236 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an in-home assessment with one of our experienced RNs.
We’re looking forward to speaking with you!