When a person is born, until they reach the age of (around) 45, cognitive abilities such as concentration, attention, and memory continue to develop. They are also maintained at a relatively healthy level.
However, at age 45, many adults start to notice a decline in their cognitive abilities, which only gets worse as more time passes. Even though this is part of the normal aging process, there are ways to improve cognitive abilities and help slow down cognitive decline.
This is especially important for seniors. Keep reading for a few ideas on how to provide seniors with cognitive stimulation in their Golden Years.
One of the most effective cognitive activities for the elderly is having meaningful conversations with others. Sometimes, as a person gets older, they will begin to withdraw from social interactions. This means they don’t have as many opportunities to talk to people about things they find important. Take time to ask seniors in your life about their opinions on some situations and things happening around them. Not only does this help to stimulate the mind, but it will also improve their mood.
Sudoku and Crossword Puzzles
One of the first indications that a senior is experiencing a decline in cognitive function is if they are at a loss for words. You have likely heard elderly people state that they forgot what they were going to say all the time.
However, crossword puzzles can help with this. They make you think about phrases or words based on clues. Even if you must look up the answer, your brain is improving its processing abilities. This same type of cognitive process is used when you complete a Sudoku puzzle.
Pastels are easy for seniors to hold, can be smudged easily with the hands or fingers, and can be removed if they get somewhere they should not. You can give a senior loved one pastels and request that they draw something they like. This activity can help them feel relaxed and calm. This is a great way for them to exercise their mind while doing a fun activity.
Writing or Reading
Like word puzzles, writing and reading also stimulate brain function. Both activities can help stimulate and maintain concentration and creativity. Consider taking your elderly loved one to the local library and have them select a few books they are interested in. You can also order books on their tablets or another device they can read and enjoy.
Besides reading, writing is another great brain-stimulating activity. Seniors can write notes to loved ones or write down their memories.
Keeping Seniors Cognitively Stimulated
Making sure that seniors in your care continue using their brains will help them avoid serious cognitive decline. Keep the activities above in mind, which are all great for cognitive development and to help reduce cognitive decline. Usually, senior care facilities will have activities like this worked into their daily schedule to ensure residents have the chance to use their brains and minimize cognitive decline.