Tips for Helping an Aging Parent Enhance Cognitive Abilities

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Statistics indicate up to 20 percent of adults over the age of 65 live with mild cognitive impairment. However, there are a variety of lifestyle options known to enhance and protect cognitive abilities. Family members should consider the habits of their older loved ones and encourage some changes to promote better brain health.

Make Dietary Adjustments

Lean meats, fruits, and brightly colored vegetables provide the nutrients needed to sustain energy levels and ensure proper nutrition for all the body’s systems. The compounds in these foods provide vitamins and antioxidants that protect neurons while inhibiting the damage done by free radicals. Eating right reduces cholesterol levels to prevent narrowing of blood vessels within the brain. In addition, reducing sugar intake helps seniors prevent systemic inflammation, which also plays a role in neuron damage.

Encourage Physical Activity

Staying physically active keeps the cardiovascular system healthy, which ensures oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood circulates through the brain. When seniors get regular exercise, their neurons are better able to function, regenerate, and develop more pathways of communication. Seniors might enjoy watching DVDs that offer specific ways for aging adults to engage in physical activity. Bicycling and swimming are low-impact activities that benefit the brain and body.

Promote Learning

Learning stimulates various regions of the brain, including the neurons that govern vision, strategy, problem-solving, physical movement, and other vital functions. Listening to new music, learning to play a musical instrument, and playing video games are all healthy ways to exercise the brain. Any new activity that requires physical movement stimulates the brain further, and acquiring new facts and skills exercises both short- and long-term memory. 

A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for your loved one. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Denver families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Encourage Working on Puzzles

Jigsaw, number, and word puzzles are ideal activities seniors can enjoy independently. These activities require using memory, problem-solving, visual-spatial, and fine motor skills to complete the puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles also require pattern and color recognition to correctly put the pieces into place. Sudoku challenges seniors to determine the proper placement of numbers to complete each square grid while using memory and problem-solving strategies.

Play Board Games

Inviting your loved one to play board games is another way to help him or her build cognitive skills. Scrabble stimulates the language and memory centers of the brain to combine letters to make words. Checkers and chess require problem-solving and strategy skills. The time spent with others is also beneficial, as socializing promotes emotional and mental health. 

An in-home caregiver can be a fantastic game-playing partner for your loved one. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs 24-hour care, Denver, CO, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.

Go on Outdoor Excursions

Taking a walk around the block or through a local park stimulates multiple senses while providing much-needed physical activity. The sights and sounds of children playing and birds singing are typically pleasing to experience. During spring and fall, the colors and fragrances nature produces also stimulate the senses. Walking through the community also provides the chance to interact with other local residents, which offers the benefits of socialization as well as enjoyable stimulation for the brain. 

With the help of an in-home caregiver, your loved one can have more time to enjoy things that stimulate his or her mind. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. 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. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (720) 443-3371 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.

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