There are many factors to consider when caring for a loved one, and of course, having them close to home makes the situation easier. But what do you do when your loved one lives 50 or 500 miles away, or even across the country? Although it seems like it is unmanageable, there are ways to not only keep peace-of-mind, but also to ensure s
A regular cognitive workout can improve your concentration, comprehension, and recall in everyday life. The more you challenge your brain, the more brain cells and nerve connection pathways you form. Instead of gray matter simply dying as you age, new cells can be activated to grow at any age.
A number of brain exercise routines are recommended for seniors to help curb mental slowing:
- Learn a new skill. Your brain kicks into action when you take up a new hobby or activity, such as learning to cook different foods, speak a foreign language, or play an instrument or sport.
- Read and explore books, newspapers, magazine articles, and other forms of written communication. Make it a social activity by joining a book club through your local library or bookstore.
- Write as often as you can. Whether you keep a journal, write emails, jot down family history and memories, or create fictional stories – keep at it.
- Complete crossword puzzles and Sudoku. These brain builders are especially beneficial if you set a time limit and work quickly.
- Participate in regular brain games such as color match, speed match, and word-find challenges. Lumosity and Fit Brains offer personalized brain-training programs and AARP lists a number of fun memory and problem-solving games.
- Play bridge, chess, or board and computer games. Expose yourself to the paces of mental strategy and focus.
- Continue to socialize and verbalize. Talk with others about world events and issues important to you and your community.
- Seek employment or volunteer opportunities. Avoid staying home alone or remaining mentally or physically inactive. Find employment or volunteer opportunities that help you remain engaged with society and help you develop new skills. Look for opportunities at your local senior center; through AARP; or by calling a local nursing home, adult day program, or school. Active seniors might enjoy caring for others through a part-time position as an at-home caregiver with Right at Home.
For some seniors, making these activities social can be critical. For example, volunteering can be done with a grandchild, spouses can work on crossword puzzles together, or games might be more fun with a partner (such as Scrabble or cribbage). In-home senior care providers, such as Right at Home, can also provide older adults with companionship and help with activities and games that boost cognitive skills, or they can coordinate library trips to find brainteasers, language-learning audio sets, and thought-provoking books. In addition, a holistic approach to better brain health involves lowering stress, eating nutritiously, maintaining regular physical exercise, and getting adequate sleep.
Paul Blom, CEO
June 30, 2015
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