Mental health is just as important as the physical side of things. And keeping the brain active is a big part in maintaining wellness. Research backs this up, showing that seniors who exercise their brains regularly were less likely to experience cognitive decline than those who don’t.
Here are some of the best ways to keep the mind sharp, which can be done anywhere, whether it’s in a care facility under staff supervision or at home with the family:
Engaging and meaningful conversations
This exercises the mind and also staves off feelings of isolation and depression. It might not seem like much, but for an older person who otherwise might spend hours alone, having a chat or two not only stimulates their minds but also allows them to practice socializing. They’ll feel connected with the rest of society and talking about their experiences will help them recount their memories.
Craft and Hobbies
The coordination involved in using your hands to creatively make something is highly beneficial for seniors and the feeling of a good day’s work is utterly satisfactory. Crafts and hobbies such as knitting and sewing, making scrapbooks of their lives, will boost their self-esteem, reminding them that they’re productive. They’ll also have wonderful things to give to their grandkids when they visit.
Listening and making music are delightful activities, with the latter having a proven link in staving off cognitive decline. So whether the senior used to play or is still learning, practicing playing and the challenges that come with it will maintain and even develop their capabilities.
The same with hobbies and crafts, but with the added benefit of more fresh air and sunlight – supplying the elderly’s bodies with Vitamin D. Whether it’s taking care of the flowers on the lawn, or watering and trimming bonsai plants. The elderly will get to move and they can watch the little seedlings sprout and bloom.
Puzzles, Crossword, Board and Card Games
Whether it’s a jigsaw puzzle, a crossword puzzle in a newspaper or a game you play with others like scrabble, mahjong or monopoly, these will require brainpower. Games you can play with others have the benefit of socialization too.
Baking and Cooking
They can revisit their favorite recipes and create classic desserts and dishes they can share. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of making a dish and seeing the delight in others as they savor its flavors!
Seniors who are up for the challenge can try their hand at learning a new tongue. This is a great way to develop the mind. Whether they’re practicing something they once studied in college, or learning something new from scratch, it’s a rewarding process and nowadays there’s a lot of online resources and apps they can turn to that will keep things fun.
Think video games are just for kids? Go watch the elderly go at it with a Wii! There are now games aimed at seniors, and there are online resources that can point them out. Seniors will love the novelty of interacting with computers, and chances are quite a few of them are already quite skilled with cellphone touchscreens.
Such activities are very beneficial. So this is why ComForCare provides a variety of them for our residents to keep them healthy and happy!