To boost cognitive health, seniors with Alzheimer’s should engage in mentally stimulating activities. If these activities become a regular habit, seniors may be able to stave off some of the symptoms. Here are five activities that stimulate the brain.
1. Putting Together Jigsaw Puzzles
Puzzles are a great way to engage seniors with Alzheimer’s because they challenge the ability to parse shapes and make connections and force seniors to use their brains and motor skills at the same time, which helps them hone several different skill sets affected by the disease. Select jigsaw puzzles suitable for your loved one’s abilities. There are puzzles designed specifically for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, which have large pieces and familiar, easy-to-assemble imagery.
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2. Painting with Watercolors
While brain games are an excellent source of mental stimulation, creative stimulation has unique benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. When seniors play memory games, the challenge of finding the right answer may be tiring. If given a piece of paper and a set of watercolors, there are no wrong answers. Painting with watercolors can be a liberating feeling for seniors who cannot effectively communicate with their loved ones. Even if seniors can’t verbalize their thoughts and feelings, they can still paint them. The process of creating art can also trigger old memories. Search for Alzheimer’s-friendly art classes that let seniors and their caregivers create art together.
3. Being Read To
While seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty following the plot of a novel, this doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a good book. Read to your loved one from favorite novels, newspaper articles, or stories. Older adults with Alzheimer’s disease may derive more pleasure from short texts like poems and fairy tales. If you don’t have time to read aloud, play an audiobook for your loved one. However, reading aloud provides a feeling of comfort and a type of uncomplicated socialization that could be beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
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4. Looking Through Old Photo Albums
For seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, reminiscing is a powerful mental activity. Browsing through photo albums and keepsakes is one of the best ways to spark memories and foster connections. Look through the photos with your loved one, acting as guide as he or she takes a walk down memory lane. Try gently asking if your loved one remembers certain people and events, and give cues if he or she can’t remember. If your loved one gets frustrated, stop posing questions and start narrating the events depicted in the photo album.
5. Making a Tactile Stimulation Box
Tactile stimulation has many benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. When they touch objects with unusual shapes, textures, or temperatures, it forces the brain to differentiate and perceive, which has tangible benefits for cognitive health and memory. You can help your loved one benefit from tactile stimulation by placing interesting objects in a box. Consider pinecones, sandpaper, seashells, and pieces of fabric. Let your loved one touch the contents of the box when he or she feels frustrated or anxious.
Engaging in mentally stimulating activities is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health, wellbeing, and overall quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Cleveland, OH, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at (440) 332-0170 today.