Good cognitive health is as important as physical health to keep seniors active, independent and happy. As we get older, some declines in cognition and memory are normal, but there are some things that seniors can do to keep their minds sharper longer. Here are three easy ways seniors can boost their brain power.
Researchers say seniors are more vulnerable to dementia when their brains – and their bodies – are dormant. Passive activities like sitting in front of the TV for hours at a time can do more harm than good. It’s good to engage seniors in activities they enjoy and that also require them to pay attention to what’s happening around them. Arts and crafts, tending a garden, caring for a pet, or even household chores can help improve cognition.
Learn Something New
Trying a new recipe, for example, uses smell, sight, touch and taste, which stimulate different parts of the brain. Learning a new language or even learning new words stimulate memory and can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Enroll your senior in a book club or buy him a word-a-day calendar to keep the cognitive skills sharpened.
A study in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia reported that seniors who played Bingo performed better on cognitive tests than those who didn’t. Board games with colorful playing surfaces and objects also stimulate the brain, and card games like Bridge and Rummy encourage social interaction, stimulate memory and keep the mind sharp.