To boost cognitive health, seniors with Alzheimer’s should engage in mentally stimulating activities. If these activities become regular habits, seniors may be able to stave off some of the disease’s symptoms. Here are five activities that stimulate the brain.
1. Putting Together Jigsaw Puzzles
Puzzles are a great way to engage seniors with Alzheimer’s because they challenge the ability to analyze shapes and make connections, forcing seniors to use their brains and motor skills at the same time, which helps them hone several different skill sets affected by the disease. Select jigsaw puzzles suitable for your older loved one’s abilities. There are puzzles designed specifically for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease that have large pieces and familiar, easy-to-assemble images.
A professional home caregiver can help your loved one exercise his or her cognitive skills on a daily basis. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Oshkosh Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Painting with Watercolors
While brain games are an excellent source of mental stimulation, creative stimulation has unique benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. When seniors play memory games, the challenge of finding the right answers may be tiring, but with a piece of paper and a set of watercolors, there are no wrong answers. Painting with watercolors can be liberating for seniors who cannot effectively communicate with their loved ones. Even seniors who can’t verbalize their thoughts and feelings can still paint them. The process of creating art can also trigger old memories. Search for Alzheimer’s-friendly art classes that let seniors and their caregivers create art together.
3. Listening to Someone Read to Them
While seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty following the plot of a novel, this doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a good book. Read to your loved one from favorite novels, newspaper articles, or stories. Older adults with Alzheimer’s disease may derive more pleasure from short texts like poems and fairy tales. If you don’t have time to read aloud, play an audiobook for your loved one. However, hearing someone read aloud in person provides a feeling of comfort and a type of uncomplicated socialization that could be beneficial for an aging adult with Alzheimer’s disease.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s often need assistance with everyday activities so they can age in place in safety and comfort. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Looking through Old Photo Albums
For seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, reminiscing is a powerful mental activity. Browsing through photo albums and keepsakes is one of the best ways to spark memories and foster connections. Look through the photos with your loved one, acting as a guide as he or she takes a walk down memory lane. Try gently asking if your loved one remembers certain people and events, and provide cues if he or she can’t remember. If your loved one gets frustrated, stop posing questions and start narrating the events depicted in the photo album.
5. Making a Tactile Stimulation Box
Tactile stimulation has many benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. When they touch objects with unusual shapes, textures, or temperatures, it forces their brains to differentiate and perceive, which has tangible benefits for cognitive health and memory. You can help your loved one benefit from tactile stimulation by placing interesting objects in a box. Consider pine cones, sandpaper, seashells, and pieces of fabric. Let your loved one touch the contents of the box when he or she feels frustrated or anxious.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Oshkosh seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (920) 573-6295 today.