Memory loss and decreasing mental cognition is a serious concern for seniors. As many as 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most prevalent form of dementia. Scientist haven’t yet discovered the cause (nor cure) of Alzheimer’s, which attacks the areas in the brain that manage memory, language, reasoning, and social behavior.
Though Alzheimer’s can have an early onset and effect those in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, the disease primarily affects senior citizens. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after the age of 65.
Fighting Dementia with Brain Exercises
Research has found that those who are cognitively active are 2.6 times less likely to develop a form of dementia. The best bet for beating, delaying, or diminishing Alzheimer’s and dementia is to engage in activities that force your brain to stay involved and active.
1. Reading – Simple and enjoyable, reading can help to keep your brain sharp. Processing the words, using your imagination for imagery, and following the plotline will not just entertain you, but also keep your brain active and healthy.
2. Crosswords/Sudoku/Puzzles – Developed to challenge the brain, games like Sudoku and puzzles are great for keeping the brain alive and energetic. Your morning coffee and crossword can actually help to prevent or delay dementia.
3. Video Brain Games/ Memory Apps – Video games aren’t just for kids anymore! Supported by scientific research, there are countless video games and apps that have been developed to help increase memory and cognitive function. Whether playing on your iPhone, a Nintendo DS, or any other gaming device, these fun and engaging games do increase cognitive ability.
4. Explore Your Creativity – Take a vacation from technology and exercise your brain through creativity. Paint a piece of art, make jewelry, write a story, take pictures, scrapbook, build your own furniture, etc. Creative expression uses brain power, and keeps your mind busy and alive.
5. Take a College Class – The traditional way to exercise your brain is through formal education. Enroll in a college course at your local college or junior college and experience the thrill of learning. Though the social aspect of physically attending a class is most stimulating, you could also take a course online. An impressive list of college courses is offered as audiobooks and can be played in your car or through a smartphone or MP3 device. Imagine - you could be folding laundry while learning about ancient civilizations, nuclear physics, or even the works of Shakespeare! College courses are an excellent way to exercise the brain.
6. Learn a New Language – Both challenging and rewarding, learning a new language is an intensive way to exercise the brain. Storing new knowledge, exercising recall, and working on a topic that builds upon itself, can keep your mind bright and sharp while exploring an exciting new language.