6 Unique Strategies for Stimulating an Aging Adult’s Brain
As people grow older, they tend to forget things more often—and this is normal. Most seniors experience the occasional memory lapses that are a natural part of aging, but they’re not necessarily indicative of cognitive decline.
For seniors who want to maintain excellent cognitive fitness, it’s important to keep the mind engaged!
Here are six unique ways seniors can keep their minds active.
1. Smell New Fragrances
Cognitive retention is a complicated process that involves all the senses, including your sense of smell. Scent is intimately connected with the power of recall, and people are more likely to retain information if they associate it with an aroma.
To hone their sense of scent, seniors should try to take in new fragrances whenever possible. They can stop to smell the roses, sniff a batch of freshly baked cookies, and breathe in the scent of freshly cut grass.
If they want to learn more about fragrances, they could start using essential oils when at home. Rosemary, basil, and peppermint are believed to enhance cognitive function. Using essential oils may boost your loved one’s mental acuity, mood, and overall quality of life.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Dayton home care. Our caregivers provide a number of services, including transportation to and from medical appointments, meal preparation and cleanup help—even bathing assistance if needed.
2. Eat Healthy
While puzzles and brain games help the mind stay sharp, mental exercises aren’t always enough. Sometimes seniors have to seek a mental boost through food.
Plant-based diets are best for cognitive health. Brain-healthy foods include leafy green vegetables, berries, nuts, and lean proteins like seafood and poultry. Seniors should avoid eating foods that negatively impact brain health, such as packaged snacks, margarine, and sugary sodas, as they can contribute to weight gain and cognitive decline.
Professionally trained caregivers can cook nutritious meals, go grocery shopping, and assist with a wide variety of other daily tasks.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care.
Dayton seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
3. Take a Dance Class
It’s never too late to learn a new skill, and classes that combine movement with music are particularly good for the mind. Active seniors should find a beginner dance class that sounds interesting.
Seniors who are not active but want to be should choose physical exercise classes that are appropriate for their skill levels and do not put them at risk of injury.
Most seniors soon find that learning routines and getting their body to cooperate is more challenging than they expected. This makes dancing good for both the brain and the body.
4. Get a Pet
Many seniors start to stagnate because they only have themselves to care about, which could lead to an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle with minimal mental stimulation.
However, having a dog or cat to care for encourages seniors to get out of their comfort zones. They have to remember that they need to feed the pet, walk it and groom it.
Pets provide seniors with brain-boosting social companionship—whether taking them on walks around the neighborhood or just staying home for a quiet night.
Animal companionship can reduce stress and depression, improve socialization and self-esteem, and increase overall happiness. Overall, pet care is a uniquely pleasurable form of mental stimulation.
5. Read a Self-Help Book
Maintaining a positive outlook is crucial to cognitive health. When seniors start to emphasize their slipping memory, with frequent references to “senior moments” and “forgetting their car keys,” they start to truly believe they’re no longer in control of their memory function.
To reverse this trend, seniors need to seek out positive reinforcement.
Reading self-help books can help seniors set goals, find purpose in their lives, and learn to feel better about themselves. As an added bonus, the act of simply reading is always mentally stimulating.
Popular options include Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and The Brain Bible by John Arden.
6. Keep a Bullet Journal
Bullet journals are a popular way to keep track of important details. They are highly customizable, and they are often part diary, part calendar, and part to-do list.
Writing, whether it takes the form of diary entries or to-do lists, is a great way for seniors to boost mental and motor skills. By using a stimulating way to organize routine information, seniors can keep their minds active.
Apart from regular mental stimulation, seniors may need assistance with daily activities. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care agency, Dayton, Ohio, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
Here at Home Care Assistance, we believe in providing personalized care to each senior we serve, which is why we work with clients and their families to create a customized plan for each senior.
We offer 24/7 live-in care for seniors who need help with daily tasks but still want to maintain their independence, as well as respite care for those who require assistance from time to time.
For details about our premier home care services, give us a call at (937) 617-3558 today
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