Aging can cause changes in our brain functions. As we age, our cognitive ability declines, and you can definitely see this happen if you have an elderly parent or family member you are caring for. If you notice, their memory may not be what it used to be. Their minds are not as sharp as when they were younger. Over time, they will experience short-term memory loss.
Like any part of our body, our brain also needs exercise in order to stay in shape. In the case of your elderly parents, while they may already show signs of memory loss or even suffer from the beginnings of Alzheimer’s or dementia, you can still do something to help exercise their memory and keep their minds sharp.
Below are 5 of the simplest yet effective memory exercises that you can do at home or anywhere to help exercise and even boost your senior loved ones’ brain power.
1. Puzzles. From crossword puzzles to tangrams to sudoku, puzzles are highly recommended by Alzheimer’s researchers for exercising the brain to enhance memory and cognitive functions.
2. Card Games. Games such as Solitaire, Poker, Rummy, or even Go Fish, when done regularly not only are great ways for your elderly to socialize. These games also help maintain brain vitality.
3. Chess. A strategy game, playing chess at any age can boost memory and help it stay fit and analytical.
4. Sensory Stimulation. Listening to music, tasting different delicious food, touching different things, smelling different aromas or looking at beautiful vistas are also memory exercises. They can stimulate the senses and the memory as well as boost mental awareness.
5. Reading. Reading is a good exercise for the brain and helps greatly in language and word recall. From newspapers to magazines to novels, reading gives the brain a good boost to prevent further memory loss in the future.
The bottom line is to engage your elderly loved ones in social and engaging activities to keep them occupied. These not only takes away boredom, but also fills their days with more meaning. These memory exercises also help them keep their minds sharp even in old age.