Staying active is a must for seniors. Physical activity is emphasized more often than staying mentally active. But recent studies indicate that staying mentally sharp is just as important because it can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This post discusses what activities seniors can engage in to stay sharp, how to strengthen memory and why mental engagement can delay Alzheimer’s Disease.
Activity Later in Life Counts
The American Academy of Neurology conducted studies to look at the connection between dementia or Alzheimer’s and mental engagement. Studies found that cognitive activities older people participated in had a bearing on when they developed Alzheimer’s disease. Other factors like mental activity in early life or education weren’t associated with developing the brain condition.
Participants in the study started at age 80 and were asked how often played cards, read, or did crossword puzzles for a period of years. They also had their cognitive skills checked. Those who had higher cognitive functioning developed Alzheimer’s around age 94. Those with lower function developed it starting at age 89.
Improving Brain Health
There are many things seniors can do to stay mentally sharp. Participating in brain-centered activities a few days each week goes a long way. Improving brain health isn’t just limited to crossword puzzles or sudoku. Anything that stimulates the brain counts. Like other parts of the body, the brain is a muscle, and it will decline if it’s not used. Examples of activities include:
- Picking up a new hobby
- Learning a new language
- Watch question and answer game shows like Jeopardy and play along
- Read books, newspapers, and magazines
- Play games such as chess
Give Your Memory a Boost
There are other ways to strengthen your memory besides activities like improving the ability to recall things. Focus on where the item is being stored when putting things away. Don’t get distracted by other concerns. Use memory tricks like associating a person’s face with their name to make remembering it easier later on. Memorize short lists, like one for groceries, and recall the items on them.
Alzheimer’s disease is difficult to manage for seniors and their families alike. Optimum Senior Care Solutions offers Alzheimer’s and dementia care for seniors in Orange County and Newport Beach, CA. To learn more about the services we provide, reach out today.