What Is “Brain Health”?
Brain health refers to a variety of cognitive abilities. Memory, emotion, and judgment are primary examples of senior brain health. Being able to perform mental processes can include the use of language as well as complex reasoning skills.
Dementia is more likely to occur with age. This type of condition occurs when the nerve cells located in the brain lose connection with each other. If two or more basic cognitive functions are impaired, dementia can be diagnosed.
Core brain functions include:
Alzheimer’s disease is just one condition that can cause dementia. Vascular dementia caused by cerebrovascular disease can also cause cognitive decline. Those who have suffered a stroke or “ministroke” are particularly susceptible to this type of dementia.
Lewy body dementia can impact thinking as well as mood. This is a physical condition that occurs when abnormal protein deposits gather inside nerve cells. When the cells no longer function, memory, sleep, and mood can become altered.
To prevent cognitive decline, maintaining brain health for seniors must be a priority. Just like physical exercise, senior games can give the mind a workout. By practicing certain ways of thinking, the brain can remain sharp even as we age.
Brain Health for Seniors
Senior mind games are known to help prevent problems with memory recall, depression, and disorganized thought patterns. By using these forms of cognitive exercise, seniors can improve their health.
One of the most popular games for mental stimulation can be found in a newspaper or online. Crossword puzzles help stretch the brain to remember certain answers while understanding a pattern. Depending on the puzzle, certain answers can involve complex reasoning skills as well as history.
Other senior mind games can include Sudoku or Chess. Games that involve problem-solving skills can exercise the brain so that it stays sharp over time. Memory skills and logic often help the brain create connections to improve concentration.
Without concentration, personal and practical skills can greatly suffer. This particular ability is one of the most important skills necessary when improving cognitive function. By staying focused on sets of rules or complex problems, the mind can retain information that might otherwise become lost.
Basic concepts like time and place can become fuzzy with age. This is one of the most disorienting problems that happens with any form of dementia. When the mind is no longer used to critical thinking and problem-solving, it can rapidly decline with age.
Senior brain exercises are not the only way to improve cognitive decline. Eating a healthy diet is also important. A well-rounded, nutritious diet can help keep memory intact. Fish and nuts are known for their ability to help cognitive thinking while boosting mood. Diet can also improve energy levels.
Dangerous blood sugar levels can be a risk factor for dementia. Diabetes can cause blood sugar levels to increase which can put a strain on memory power. If diabetes is uncontrolled, this can greatly impact thinking. Diet can not only improve mood, but it can help prevent diabetes 2.
Keeping the brain sharp can include many forms of education. In addition to strategy games or word puzzles, continuing education classes can be extremely helpful.
Classes do not have to be attended in-person. Online classes can also be beneficial on a wide variety of topics. Streaming classes or using instructive videos can keep the mind active and stimulated at home.
At-home learning can be practiced in multiple ways. If classes are not accessible, books are another way to keep the mind engaged. Libraries still offer plenty of hard-cover books as well as ebooks and newspapers. Continuing education can be done through words, games, puzzles and other people.
The Power of A Social Network
Brain health for seniors can increase with social connection. Regular visits with friends and family often improve mood and can help fight off memory decline. Everyone needs social interaction, even those who are introverts.
A social network can include people that are not necessarily well-known, but are seen on a regular basis. Smaller social interactions are helpful at any age. Playing games online or sharing experiences through email can also be included in a social network.
Senior brain exercise can help prevent cognitive decline. For seniors who are worried about their mental health or want to help prevent memory loss, certain games can help.
The mind is a critical part of our cognitive ability and personality. By considering multiple strategies for solving complex problems, the brain can stay engaged for much longer.
If you need assistance keeping your loved one engaged and keeping up with their brain health, contact our expert caregivers today.
Whether your loved one needs assistance only a few hours a week or around-the-clock, our team is happy to help! Call (781) 821-2800 to learn more about the transition care services offered through ComForCare Home Care (Canton, MA).