Tips for Helping a Senior Parent Boost Cognitive Abilities

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Ways for Helping a Senior Parent Boost Cognitive Abilities in Des Moines, IA

Cognitive decline may occur naturally or secondary to a disease process. However, researchers have determined that despite age, older adults’ brains maintain the ability to learn and increase communication pathways between neurons. Family members may take an active role in preserving or boosting the cognitive health of an older loved one by implementing a few techniques.

Encourage Physical Activity

ngaging in some form of physical exercise or activity strengthens the cardiovascular system, which in turn increases blood flow through the brain. Optimal circulation is important for the hippocampus, which plays a major role in forming, storing, and retrieving memories. Imaging studies of older adults’ brains reveal tissue density remains more prevalent in the brains of those who are physically fit. Routine physical activity also enables seniors to learn more easily, better handle stress, and enhance decision-making skills. \

Ensure Sufficient Sleep

Older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Sleep disruption during the night affects concentration, coordination, memory, mood, and judgment. During sleep, the brain busies itself making repairs and linking memories and pathways. Seniors who complain of not getting restful sleep secondary to medical conditions, chronic pain, or other problems need to visit healthcare providers for treatment. It’s also important for family caregivers to get the rest they need to stay healthy, and home caregivers can be a wonderful source of support for both seniors and their families. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Des Moines, IA, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.

Promote Learning Opportunities

Learning typically stimulates multiple areas of the brain, which helps neurons form new pathways. Learning a new skill may require visual or auditory attention along with physical movement. The information acquired is then stored and categorized as specific memories. The degree and level of challenge and exercise the brain undergoes during the learning process depends on the task or skill the older adult is in the process of learning. The more unfamiliar the subject, the greater the challenge the brain encounters.  A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for your loved one. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Des Moines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Introduce Puzzles

Puzzles of all kinds are ideal for stimulating cognitive ability and enhancing skills. Traditional jigsaw puzzles stimulate the brain’s visual center to recognize colors and shapes to identify where each piece fits into the whole picture. Retrieving and positioning each piece requires the use of fine motor skills, which encourages hand-eye coordination. Word puzzles stimulate the visual, memory, and language regions of the brain. Seniors must interpret clues or use strategy, logic, and reasoning along with problem-solving to determine which words fit into the puzzles. The number puzzle Sudoku is another means of encouraging the use of problem-solving and strategy skills to successfully complete challenges.

Play Games

Board and card games also require multiple brain functions to play them and possibly outwit opponents. Card games require players to use memory. Strategy and problem-solving skills are needed to determine which cards to play or discard for point scoring. Board games require similar challenging techniques. While seniors and family members can enjoy games together, seniors can also play many traditional games alone using computers or mobile devices.  With the help of an in-home caregiver, your loved one can have more time to enjoy things that stimulate his or her mind. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If your loved one needs professional home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (515) 264-2438 today


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