Alzheimer’s and Mental Stimulation

Alzheimer’s and Mental Stimulation

Alzheimer’s and Mental Stimulation

It is becoming increasingly known that mental stimulation can slow (and maybe even prevent) the progression of Alzheimer’s. “Mental stimulation” can mean a variety things ranging from educational attainment to an array of hobbies and activities throughout your life. This blog hopes to explain what some of these activities can be and the positive impacts mental stimulation can have for your health in old age.

Mental Stimulation as a Preventative Measure

People who have not developed a degenerative neurological disease can take steps to take some preventative measures. Remember: diseases like Alzheimer’s or other related dementias are not a normal part of aging, so there are ways you can take care of yourself to combat against it. And this does not only apply to younger people. Older individuals can participate in the benefits of practicing some mentally stimulating activities. Here are some ideas of activities to do:

  • Learn new things: Harness the curiosity within you and take up a new hobby! This can be anything from learning a new language, how to dance, how to computer program, new exercises, how to cook, and the list goes on. Whatever kinds of hobbies you wanted to learn, find the courage to take them on!
  • Do analytical tasks: This can fall under the rubric of the above point, but it can also include doing daily puzzles, math problems, or reading and writing. Find a reading group near you whose members are reading books that interest you.
  • Take classes: If you live near a university or college, see if you can enroll in a course on a subject of your choosing. It is always easier to do well pursuing a subject you love.
  • Go to theatres or music events: Listening to music or paying close attention to a theatrical performance are not just mentally stimulating, but they’re fun. Why not enjoy the benefit of both?

While these activities may lead to prevention, it is not definite. Our genetics, environmental conditions, and life histories play a complex role in whether or not we develop certain diseases in old age. It is equally important not to cast judgments at people who develop certain degenerative neurological diseases as if they did not do enough to help themselves.[1] Many factors are out of our control. All we can worry about is what is in our control and hope for the best possible outcome.

Activities for Those with Dementia

Mentally stimulating activities can also be beneficial for dementia patients. Ensuring your loved one is pursuing mentally stimulating activities can confer improvements in memory and overall quality of life.[2]

Here are some ideas:

  • Puzzles and word games
  • Gardening
  • Socializing
  • Listening to Music
  • Baking

With some of these activities, family or professional caregivers may need to provide some assistance. Always allow enough freedom so your loved one can engage in an activity, but enough guidance to ensure their overall safety.

If you have any other questions, feel free to call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website!

[1] Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC545200/

[2] Source: https://www.alzinfo.org/articles/mental-stimulation-slows-alzheimers-progression/

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