Keeping Your Mind Active In Long Term Care
Source: Inside Elder Care
March 15, 2017 By Ryan Malone
Keeping your brain sharp while living in an elderly care facility can seem challenging at times. Often, people consider the need to maintain their physical health, tossing mental health to the side and neglecting to exercise their brains. In order to maintain mental capability, it is important to exercise and train your brain consistently. There are a number of activities you can take part in on a daily basis to keep your brain functioning at its best!
Read: Reading regularly is one of the best ways to exercise and develop the brain. This activity can trigger the mind to think outside the box, sparking the imagination and working the mind in unique and different ways. Whether you choose to read a book, a newspaper, or a magazine, reading every day will expand your knowledge, cognitive skills, and vocabulary and get your brain thinking!
Participate: Take part in some sort of physical or group activity that your care facility offers. Check out the list of activities to find one that is right for you and your abilities. Sign up for a pottery class, join the bird watching group, or take dancing lessons. Contrary to what many people think about seniors and physical activity, it is important to get out and participate in some type of physical motion that intrigues you to better your muscle and brain health.
Play: Whether you play an instrument, try to solve a word puzzle, or use your mental skills to win a board game, any and every kind of play is brain play! When you engage your brain in play, you sharpen your memory, recall, and logic skills. Physical games and activities can also help to keep the brain active in long-term care. Whether you are looking for exciting indoor winter activities or outdoor summer thrills, there are plenty of things older folks can do to keep their bodies and minds active.
Socialize: Socializing opens you up to other people’s thoughts and ideas. Depending on the conversation, socializing with other members of your community can allow you to improve upon your debate and quick thinking skills. Building and maintaining friendships with others will keep your brain sharp, but it will also make your time in long term care more enjoyable.
Journal: Writing your daily activity, thoughts, and other things down in a journal can help improve your brain function. As an added bonus, this gives you something to reflect back upon and read later! Advanced seniors who are familiar with computers and the use of the internet can even journal online or stay connected with friends and family via social media outlets or e-mail.
Nap: Sleep to the brain is like food to your belly. Taking a twenty-minute nap midday can improve your memory skills about as much as a full night of sleep! Many seniors battle with sleep apnea, so resting up in the afternoon can also give you more energy to take part in other brain training activities later in the day.
Eat: Incorporate foods that have been proven to help brain function into your daily diet. To keep your body and your brain functioning at their best, a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet is recommended. Consuming dark vegetables rich in nutrients and other foods that contain high levels of antioxidants aid the brain in memory and cognitive function.
Brain training has never been so important. Engaging the brain not only allows it to function better, but can also increase personal levels of physical and emotional rejuvenation. With these active mind tips and the right staffing and care at a facility, elderly minds can stay sharp!