While discussions on health usually focus on the body’s needs, staying healthy involves taking care of both the mind and body. Brain health is important for a person of any age, but it often becomes trickier to approach as one grows older.
There are occasions when brain damage cannot be reversed, such as some forms of dementia. Home care services for seniors provide effective care for older adults living with serious illnesses. Still, families can also partner with them to prioritize good health and quality of life for seniors in the household.
Senior citizens experience numerous benefits from doing brain exercises. When mentally stimulating activities are partnered with good physical health, they keep the brain sharper for a longer time and even delay the onset of dementia.
Activities to Keep Seniors’ Minds Healthy
Helping the senior citizens in our lives exercise their minds need not be a difficult task. These simple daily activities allow them to stay cognitively active, and they can even let them live more happily every day.
1. Arts and Crafts
No one is too old to use their imagination. Making crafts is a non-stressful way for seniors to exercise their minds and hands to create something they can keep or even give away.
The various colors they encounter in craft-making stimulates the senses and encourages creativity. The great range of crafts seniors can make also makes the activity friendly to those suffering from physical impairments. For instance, older adults who are folding origami can use larger sheets of paper to follow instructions easily.
Also the arts improve memory in seniors. When older people engage in activities that require their full attention and creative judgment, their cognitive abilities improve.
Tending to the home garden is an activity that can reduce stress and act as a form of relaxation for seniors. Aside from its mental benefits, gardening is also a non-strenuous method of exercise for them. The movement required in caring for crops promotes motor skills, keeping seniors’ bodies agile.
Gardening has its definite advantages for seniors, but the simple act of being outside itself is also beneficial to one’s health. Being out in the daytime allows senior citizens to get the vitamin D they need daily, which improves immunity. Exposure to light in the daytime also promotes better sleep at night.
3. Puzzle Games
Playing games is a great mental exercise for the elderly. They are both fun and mentally stimulating, improving memory and focus while also boosting overall mood.
They also don’t require much movement, so adults can comfortably sit down to enjoy games. Popular puzzle games that seniors usually play are jigsaw puzzles (you can use larger puzzle pieces for those with eyesight issues), Sudoku, and word puzzles.
Games also provide a feeling of achievement when finishing a puzzle or winning in a round. These can trigger &;ldquo feel-good” hormones such as dopamine, activated when an individual achieves a certain goal or finishes a task.
Music appeals to a person’s emotions, but making or playing music is also a good cognitive exercise. Since there is a wide assortment of instruments they can play, seniors can freely decide according to their preferences.
Making music with a group is a great way to have some social interaction while also reaping emotional and mental benefits for seniors. Additionally, playing music can make a person nostalgic, activating pleasant memories tied to the sounds.
For physical fitness, exercises involving music such as aerobics, ballroom dancing, and Zumba are usually more enjoyable for seniors. These workouts provide stress relief while promoting better coordination and cardiovascular health.
5. Friendly Conversations
Having conversations with them is the simplest way to help senior citizens in our lives stay mentally fit. Engaging discussions encourage the elderly to put their critical thinking skills to practice and helps them to practice speaking.
Especially during the current pandemic, senior citizens need to be in the company of family, friends, and other loved ones with whom they can speak. Thoughtful conversations lessen the risks for anxiety and depression, which can occur to older adults if they become isolated as they grow older.
Because of COVID-19 safety concerns, however, some people cannot just approach elderly loved ones. Video calling still offers many benefits for curbing the consequences of loneliness.
No person benefits from prolonged isolation, especially senior citizens. Help the seniors in your lives stay mentally healthy by accompanying them through these mental exercises and supporting them.