Sooner or later, most people will find themselves with some sort of memory issue. In many cases, this is simple, harmless forgetfulness, but memory problems may become more severe with the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. For senior citizens, memory problems are annoying at the very least and debilitating at the very worst. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to delay, mitigate, or even prevent memory problems. We present 5 activities that can be used to improve memory in seniors (or anyone, really):
- Reading: Cognitive activities such as reading can prevent memory loss in seniors, effectively staving off the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Reading also helps word recall. Joining a book club will add additional help by providing a social atmosphere that can further prevent memory loss.
- Logic puzzles: Crossword puzzles and Sudoku are two examples of logic puzzles that help engage the brain and strengthen memory. Both of these are highly effective since they help boost cognitive functioning. Most seniors are likely familiar with crossword puzzles. For those who are more numbers inclined, Sudoku puzzles can also be a great way to exercise the brain.
- Strategy games: In addition to puzzles, playing chess or certain card games can provide the mental stimulation you need to improve memory. In addition to giving the mind a healthy challenge, they also incorporate social interaction, which has been shown to prevent memory loss in seniors.
- Learning a new skill: Learning to play an instrument, speak a foreign language, cook a meal, or play a new sport can all stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function. It doesn’t really matter what the skill is, just as long as it puts the mind to work in one way or another.
- Listening to music: Music and other sensory stimuli provide a powerful way to solidify and unlock memories. Studies have shown that familiar songs can actually awaken seniors with dementia or severe memory loss, bringing back memories that would have otherwise remained lost. Paying attention to smell, sight, and touch can also help improve memory.
Any activity that engages the brain can be used to improve memory. The types of activities you or your loved one chooses will ultimately depend on individual tastes, interests, and capabilities. At Senior Care Centers, we provide a variety of opportunities for our residents to exercise their minds and improve cognitive functioning. To learn more about how we can help you or your loved one, contact us today.