Brain Training for your Parent

One of the largest studies ever conducted on cognitive training determined the following, according to an article in CBS news: “A brief course of brain exercises helped older adults hold on to improvements in reasoning skills and processing speed for 10 years after the course ended.”

The average age for participants in the study was 74 and the training involved 10 to 12 sessions lasting for 60 to 75 minutes. Participants also reported that they had an easier time with daily activities as well as handling finances.

Another study published in the Archive of Neurology concluded that people who spent time throughout their life reading, writing, completing crossword puzzles or playing challenging games were less likely to develop the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.

Challenging your Parent’s Brain

One of the best things you can do for your brain is to try something new. This act stimulates the creation of new synapses—activating new brain circuits and stimulating brain chemistry. This can be achieved by doing something as simple as eating or writing with your non-dominant hand.

Other, and probably more fun activities, may include Sudoku, crossword puzzles and other word games. Help your parent pick out an activity that they have always wanted to learn, but never took the time. This could be learning a foreign language or a musical instrument. There are often classes at the local senior community center that are offered in these areas as well as exercise classes that are always good for the brain as well as the rest of the body.

In Addition to Brain Training

A study conducted on 2,235 men for 30 years found that those who followed four or five of the following behaviors were 60 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia. This included: no smoking, maintaining the right body weight, a high fruit and vegetable intake, regular exercise as well as low to moderate alcohol intake.

Elder Care Provider

If your parent requires assistance with the daily activities of life, consider obtaining the services of an elder care provider. These professionals can prepare healthy food, accompany your parent on daily walks, and provide transportation to exercise classes. They can encourage your parent to participate in brain-engaging activities while enjoying the companionship so vital to a person’s well-being.

If  you or an aging family member are considering elder care in Babylon, NY, please call the caring staff at A Gentle Touch Senior Home and Health Care at 631-647-7622 today.

Resources

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-training-courses-may-keep-seniors-sharper-for-10-more-years/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/longevity/mental-fitness/brain-exercises-for-memory.aspx

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/alzheimers-brain-plaques-prevented-by-lifetime-of-puzzles-study-suggests/

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