For those aged 65+, staying physically and intellectually active seems to promote a healthier brain. In general, seniors who engage in personally meaningful activities, like volunteering at a place of worship or visiting family and friends, report being happier and healthier than those who don’t. As a family caregiver, helping your aging loved one exercise their mind and body will help ensure a higher quality of life. If that’s your goal, here are some fun, brain-health-boosting activities that seniors will no doubt enjoy.
What is Brain Health?
Brain health is a medical term that refers to how well a person’s brain functions across several measurable areas. The better one’s brain health is, the greater their likelihood to function well while performing activities of daily living (ADLs). Aspects of brain health include:
- Cognitive health. How well one thinks, learns, and remembers
- Motor function. How well one makes and controls movements, including balance
- Emotional function. How well one interprets and responds to emotions
- Tactile function. How well one feels and responds to sensations of touch, including pain, pressure, and temperature
Brain health can be adversely affected by age-related changes in the brain, injuries such as a stroke or traumatic brain injury, mood disorders like depression or anxiety, substance abuse or addiction, and diseases including Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Behaviors that Improve Cognitive Health
As an important aspect of brain health, scientific researchers have linked these lifestyle choices to improved cognitive health in people of all ages:
- Regular exercise
- Managing high blood pressure
- Eating a diet rich in brain-healthy foods
- Staying socially engaged
- Managing stress
- Keeping the mind active
Research also seems to indicate that a combination of these healthy lifestyle behaviors may also reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Brain Health Bolstering Activities for Seniors
When your goal is helping an aging loved one stay mentally fit, encouraging them to participate in these fun activities is a proven way to keep their mind active:
- Visit a senior center and take part in activities and events
- Play cards or board games with family and friends
- Join a senior travel club
- Take in a movie, concert, or sporting event
- Try out different restaurants
- Revisit an old hobby like golf, fishing, painting, knitting, birdwatching, or gardening
- Visit local museums
Activities outside their comfort zone
- Take a cooking, art, dance, or computer class (Tip: Many local community colleges offer free or discounted classes for seniors.)
- Form or join a book, writing, or film club
- Learn how to play a new musical instrument
- Try Yoga, Tai Chi, water aerobics, or another new physical activity
- Serve meals to, or sort clothing donations for, people in need
- Care for dogs and cats at the local animal shelter
- Help a charity organization mail care packages to soldiers stationed overseas
- Volunteer at a school, hospital, library, or cancer center
- Offer to run errands for people with disabilities
- Get a part-time job
- Help with gardening at a community park or garden
- Join a committee or volunteer for an upcoming event at your place of worship
- Organize a park clean-up through your local recreation center or community association
- Participate in a community choral group, play in a local band, or join a local theater troupe
Flexible In-Home Companionship Care for Seniors in Bradenton, Florida
Keeping an aging loved one active and entertained isn’t always easy when you’re busy or live far away. At First In Care, our compassionate caregivers can step in and provide seniors with the fun, brain-health promoting activities and companionship they deserve. While serving as an extended family in your loved one’s home, our highly trained professionals understand what’s required to maintain a client’s quality of life, along with their dignity and self-esteem.
In addition to companionship care that’s uniquely tailored to your family’s needs, First In Care also provides in-home support for other daily living activities like personal hygiene, light housework, medication reminders, and transportation. Our senior caregiving services are affordable, flexible, and always delivered in a seamless package that restores your peace of mind. To learn more now about our private home health and concierge services in Bradenton and Manatee County, Florida, please visit www.firstincare.com.