Elderly Health – Brain and Mind Exercises
Care providers are only now beginning to understand the extreme importance of keeping the brain and mind active and stimulated.
Elderly parents must be encouraged by their caregivers to continually seek out new interests and capabilities. Unfortunately, dementia resulting from aging process affects many seniors, but there are ways to slow down the degenerative process.
Contrary to popular belief, brain cells don't necessarily die because of the aging process per se, but because they are not being used and consistently stimulated.
Encouraging, promoting and offering opportunities for communication as part of overall elderly health is one of the best things a caregiver can provide to an elderly parent. Keeping seniors active and involved, not only with family members and care providers, but other members of society that may include friends, new acquaintances, and group event activities, is very effective in not only keeping brain connections and nerve pathways open and stimulated, but also in preventing the isolation and depression that often afflicts the elderly in addition to possible overall elderly health benefits.
Studies have shown, through surveys of elderly populations living at home and in long-term care centers or nursing homes, that satisfaction with life is increased and enhanced through communication and socialization.
Therefore, activities, games and events that promote togetherness and communication among others are some of the best techniques to keep elderly health moving forward along with those brain cells getting exercised and active.
Crossword puzzles, bingo, checkers are fine for stimulating the brain, mind and keeping it active, but it's the challenging exercises, the ones that encourage individuals to strive toward new activities, skill levels and hobbies, that are the most effective.
Brain and mind exercises can be performed and explored in a multitude of environments. For example, a caregiver of an elderly parent can turn a normal trip to the library into an excursion that encourages a senior to learn new things. Sure, your mom may want to read the latest Danielle Steel book, but also encourage her to choose at least one new book or magazine to read with each visit. That one book or magazine should be in a subject that your mom or dad might show some interest in, but one that he or she is not particularly familiar with.
No matter what your elderly parents usually likes to read; gardening, culinary, fashion, or archaeology, encourage them to continue to stretch their mental boundaries by exploring new topics and studies.
Better yet, encourage your mom or dad to learn a new math method, a new language, or about a new culture use this as an overall strategy for elderly health.
Search out local and surrounding area events and opportunities that will get your parent outdoors and engaged in social interaction. You can even tie in your library visits to such activities. For example, imagine that you saw an advertisement in a local newspaper regarding a Titanic exhibit that will be displayed in your community in a month or two. You can encourage your elderly parent to make a visit to the library and pick up a book about the Titanic, following that up with a visit to the exhibit.
Discuss such ideas and suggestions with your parent and get them involved in their own explorations. Get them excited to try new things. Make it a game, or even a challenge between the two of you. As we often tell our children, learning can be fun, so apply the same principle to your elderly parents.
For More Game and Activity Ideas please see the following links or the links at the end of the page -
Encouraging your elderly parent to learn how to use the Internet is another stimulating brain activity that will hold limitless potential. Many elderly individuals, unfamiliar with the Internet, seem to have no desire to learn how to access or navigate it. However, exploring the Internet together will open an entire new world for your elderly parent and encourage them to learn new things.
The Internet offers a wealth of opportunities; games, group discussion boards and websites that appeal to seniors, including but not limited to genealogical research, gardening, news, health concerns, and more.
Yes, games like crossword puzzles and bingo are great for keeping the mind exercised, but also search out for games, entertainment, activities and events that will encourage your parent to break out of his or her "comfort zone" and truly offer additionally stimulating challenges for the brain.
For more information on Technology for Elderly Parents please see Elderly Parents Technology Page And for more on Elderly Health Games and Activities please see Games for Elderly Parents or for crafts and fun things to do Elderly Activities - Crafts
When encouraging an elderly parent to "push the envelope" always keep in mind their mental capabilities, stress levels, and abilities.
Don't try to press your parent too hard or too quickly to learn new skills or to engage in specific activities.
Take it one step at a time and give them a chance to become accustomed to new habits. Be open, willing and able to discuss various activities with your parent, and always try to remember to see things from their perspective, while at the same time encouraging them to participate and get involved.