Like the human body, the mind requires exercise to stay active and healthy. Over time, neurons begin to lose their inter-connectivity if not properly exercised. This deterioration in brain function is tied to memory loss and mental decline and linked to anxiety and depression in the elderly. As we age, it’s more important than ever to keep the brain engaged and active on a daily basis. There are many ways to exercise your mind but here are a few suggestions for your loved one to try:
Adult Colouring Books
Adult colouring books are very popular, and for good reason. The combination of focus and tranquility involved with colouring a complex picture does wonders in promoting concentration. It’s also a relaxing hobby that can be used to calm a stressful situation. The physical act of colouring plays a large part in maintaining dexterity in aging hands. Allowing your creativity to flow into a colouring book is a great way to keep your mind sharp. The sense of accomplishment once a drawing is complete also gives a much-needed boost of confidence. In the trademarked Qualicare BrainWorkout Program, we incorporate different artistic and creative activities, like drawing and colouring with watercolours.
Word searches provide a great workout for the brain. The constant repetitive spelling of words while searching for the word in the puzzle is an excellent exercise for your mind. Multitasking while looking for more than one word at a time is a great way to increase the challenge. Finding the word and knocking one off the list provide instant gratification and keep the mind happy and healthy. Referring to lengthy word lists also helps keep your loved one’s vocabulary vivid and expansive.
Interaction with Children and Animals
Elderly people find great joy with a visit from a child or a puppy. Children and animals alike carry positive, youthful energy. Their presence can distract from the monotony of a daily routine and create euphoria that sparks a healthy mind. Laughter generates endorphins which provides a healthy boost and it is especially healthy for elderly people for whom loneliness, isolation, and depression are all too common concerns.
Reading the Newspaper
Although reading in general is a great activity for people of any age, reading a current newspaper or magazine is an especially good way to exercise the mind because your loved one will feel engaged and connected with the world. While reading fiction novels can be a great escape, they may be disconnected from reality and the present world (which can be a positive in its own way, of course). Reading the newspaper gives your elderly loved one something to look forward to each day and keeps their mind fresh and active.
No matter the age, the mind should be treated like a muscle to exercise and grow. Work it out a little each day, and it will continue to be strong and active long into the senior years.
If you have any further questions about keeping the mind active or the fun Qualicare BrainWorkout Program, Qualicare Family Homecare is here to help. Give us a call at 613.366.2899, we’d love to talk!