We know how to keep our body active, but what about our mind? Maintaining brain health is important, especially as we age. Here are some great ways to improve your brain health.
Dementia is, perhaps, the most daunting disease associated with ageing. Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, accounting for 50-80% of dementia cases across the country, impairs behaviour, memory, and thought. Often beginning mildly, it is a condition that worsens progressively and sees seniors withdraw from activities, family and friends, and other facets of day-to-day life. This withdrawal, in turn, does nothing to assist positive mental health and can lead to a decline in both physical and psychological states.
However, if you act early, even after an initial diagnosis, there are things that can be done to combat the negative effects of dementia. If you do just a few things a day to stimulate positive neurological function, then you may be able to help train your brain to stay fit and active even after a dementia diagnosis.
Arts & Crafts
There are a number of ways in which participating in arts and crafts keeps your brain healthy. Creative activities such as:
- jewellery making
- card making
- gift making (especially for Christmas)
- colouring books
These activities enable the mind to flex its muscle. From complex patterns that keep you actively engaged, to simple painting that mimics the calmness of meditation, studies show that these hobbies can help protect the brain against age-related cognitive decline.
Music & Puzzles
Music, puzzles, and even language have been found to stimulate the mind in an effective manner. Games such as:
and playing music, even listening to classical music or clapping in time to a beat, are effective in helping keep the brain fit.
Games are helping seniors keep their minds fit and healthy, combatting the mental health concerns associated with getting older. Just a few minutes of ‘brain games’ each day could improve the health of our brain and improve overall psychological function.
Pursue Pleasurable Activities
One of the best things you can do for your brain is to keep it engaged in hobbies and activities that you have enjoyed in the past. This helps keep positive memories alive, fosters emotional connections, encourages self-expression, reduces anxiety and irritability, and helps you engage with life. Regardless of whether or not you have been diagnosed, or whether you are simply exercising your mind, the best place to start is in a place you like best.
Engage the Senses
Alzheimer’s affects behaviour and senses, as well as memory. Activities that engage multiple parts of the brain are useful in helping keep the mind sharp. For example, to engage touch and scent you might take up gardening or baking, especially with sights and smells that are familiar, well-liked, and associated with positive experiences. You might even find an incense or perfume that reminds you or your loved ones of good times, such as pine for holidays or rosewater for spring days. Scent, researchers have found, is intrinsically linked to memory, and engaging it with the other senses has a profound influence on engaging the brain.
There are hundreds of “Brain Games” that have been designed to combat dementia and develop brain function. They can be found on mobile apps such as:
Even portable game consoles offer these kinds of features – all of which are specifically designed to encourage positive and lasting neurological function. Many of these games include mathematical activities, memory tasks, shape and colour.
Games are helping seniors keep their minds fit and healthy, combatting the mental health concerns associated with getting older. Just a few minutes of ‘brain games’ each day could improve the health of our brain and improve overall psychological function. recall and design, and even creative art projects. There is something for everyone, and it is a great, portable option that can be used safely by everyone.
Keep your mind fit and your memories could follow.