As we age, the way our brain processes and stores information changes, too. All of us will experience some decline in our cognitive abilities. How much depends on genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Did you know there are ways to slow down cognitive impairment and even improve memory as you age? This is a vital aspect of elder care that we can sometimes overlook.
Here are some exercises that can help seniors improve how the brain processes and recalls information. Best of all, they are activities that are fun for all ages, and can be enjoyed with or without company.
Word and Number Puzzles
Engaging puzzles such as Sudoku or crosswords can stimulate the brain’s problem-solving and recall centers. While newspapers may be harder to come by these days, Sudoku and crossword books remain popular, and can be picked up at grocery and book stores, or ordered online. Completing just one puzzle a day can help, and they are even more fun to complete in pairs or teams.
Games of Skill and Strategy
Board and card games are not only a great way to socialize and have fun, but also a proven way to improve cognitive skills – an important part of elder care. Card games such as Poker, Solitaire, or even Go Fish challenge the brain and could delay the onset of memory loss due to aging. In addition, games like chess have long been shown to aid in memory retention.
Reading and Research
Even regular reading has been shown to delay or even prevent memory loss. Are there topics you’ve always liked to learn about? Spend some time in the library scouring the shelves for just the right materials, or simply pick up a great crime novel. When it comes to reading, any type of material will help!
Combining all of these skills into a single game – for instance, playing a word game which requires reading, skill, strategy, and puzzle-solving – can give you a powerful boost as well. Ensure that you make these daily activities a part of your elder care plan, and improve your overall quality of life.