Activities that Slow Cognitive Loss

Keeping active and social is one of the most important things seniors can do during their day-to-day activities. We know social activities like arts and crafts exercise the mind while things like daily walks help with physical movement. Encouraging our nursing home residents in Odessa Texas to achieve good mental and physical exercise is important to us. Sometimes it can be hard to design a plan for each resident, but below we have found a great list of ideas to choose from.

Mental Activity

  • Keeping the brain active seems to increase its vitality and may build its reserves of brain cells and connections and may actually generate new brain cells
  • Higher levels of education appear to play a role in protecting against dementia, possibly because brain cells and their connections are stronger, symptoms may still appear but later in a person’s life
  • Stay curious and involved – commit to lifelong learning
  • Read, write, work crossword or other puzzles
  • Attend lectures, plays, movies
  • Enroll in courses at your local adult education center, community college or other community group
  • Play games like checkers, dominoes, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy
  • Garden, cook, work mechanically
  • Perform memory exercises
  • Challenging the brain with new activities wakes up new areas
  • Try things you don’t already do – an accountant might study a new language
  • Challenging creates new pathways that appear to become alternate routes when neurons die off in middle and old age.

Social Activity

  • Engage in social interactions
  • Stay socially engaged in activities that stimulate the mind and body
  • Stay active in the workplace
  • Volunteer in community groups and causes
  • Join clubs (bridge, art, square dancing) and other social groups
  • Travel, experience new places, make an effort to learn about the place and it’s culture

Physical Activity

  • Exercise helps maintain good blood flow to the brain and encourages new brain cell growth

  • It significantly reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes which are risk factors for the development of dementia

  • It doesn’t have to be strenuous or require a major time commitment

  • It is most effective when done regularly, and in combination with a brain-healthy diet, mental activity and social interaction

  • Walking bicycling gardening, yoga and other activities for about 30 minutes daily get the body moving and the heart pumping and has been found to reduce brain cell loss

  • Leisure activities that combine physical, mental and social activity are the most likely to prevent dementia

  • Sports cultural activities, emotional support and close personal relationships together appear to slow the onset of dementia

Read more tips about cognitive exercise here.

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