Not all cognitive issues related to Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia can be reversed, but there are ways to minimize memory loss and even sharpen existing cognitive abilities. Let’s take a moment to spotlight five of the best memory loss support activities for seniors living with a dementia-related condition.
Exercise is good for more than just physical health. It’s also a brain health booster. Even 30 minutes of low-impact activities like walking and cycling can increase circulation in the brain and encourage new brain cell growth. There are many forms of exercise that can have this effect. Some of them include:
• Swimming and other water-based activities
• Yoga, tai chi, and similar disciplines that combine slower, controlled movements with breathing and relaxation techniques
• Low-impact cardio workouts
Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Doing Puzzles
Puzzles keep the brain engaged by stimulating the parts of the brain that control reasoning and thought. What’s also great about puzzles is the many options available. Possibilities include:
• Traditional jigsaw puzzles
• Crosswords and sudoku puzzles
• Photo puzzles you can create online with family photographs to stimulate memories while solving the puzzles
The actual task of gardening provides physical stimulation, but it’s also mentally relaxing. This peaceful activity can reduce some of the mental stress that goes along with certain forms of dementia. Being in a more relaxed state also helps the brain process thoughts and memories better.
Just remember to tailor the garden to your loved one’s needs and capabilities. Friends and family members can always lend a hand with the more strenuous tasks, such as pulling weeds and fertilizing. You can even set up a garden for your loved one that includes brain-friendly fruits, veggies, and spices, such as:
• Green leafy veggies (e.g., kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli)
• Tomatoes—which contain an antioxidant called lycopene that protects brain cells against the kind of damage that leads to memory loss
• Sage, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and ginger
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Kingwood Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
All the brain-friendly foods mentioned above can be used as ingredients in your loved one’s favorite recipes. Cooking is also good for older adults with dementia because certain aromas can trigger fond memories. The kitchen is a perfect spot for social interaction with friends and family members, which further contributes to brain stimulation.
The isolation seniors with dementia sometimes experience as their symptoms become more noticeable and disruptive can contribute to cognitive decline. Activities involving other people stimulate multiple sections of the brain in a way that keeps the parts that control memory active.
Social activities that involve thinking and comprehension skills coupled with physical movements can minimize memory loss by allowing both sides of the brain to work together. Activities of this nature include:
• Playing musical instruments
• Singing songs in a group while clapping or stomping feet
• Playing interactive video games with family members*
• Enjoying board or card games that require hand movements and basic thinking skills
• Taking classes specifically for seniors that involve hands-on group activities, such as pottery making, dancing, or knitting
*A University of Montreal study suggests three-dimensional gaming platforms promote growth in the parts of the brain responsible for memory building in older adults.
Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Kingwood families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 832-412-1345 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.