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6 Daily Activities That Help Seniors Boost Cognitive Skills

By Erik Gans, 9:00 am on

If your parent is like many seniors, he or she may be concerned about the memory loss often associated with aging. The good news is that while some age-related cognitive decline is inevitable for all of us, simple habits can help keep memory keen. Our friendly caregivers in Fairfield have put together this list of client favorites.

1. Use the Non-Dominant Hand

Doing simple tasks with the non-dominant hand every once in awhile helps map new neural pathways, a key component of learning and memory. Try swapping from right to left (or vice versa) when brushing hair or teeth, making a sandwich, or other everyday chores.

2. Exercise Regularly

Just like the rest of the body, the brain needs regular exercise to stay healthy. If it’s safe for your loved one to do moderate or vigorous physical activity, he or she can try aerobics, swimming, gardening, or even just plain walking.

3. Eat Fatty Fish

In a large-scale study by the Women’s Health Initiative, women who ate a diet rich in unsaturated fat were less likely to experience age-related cognitive decline than women who ate a significant amount of saturated fat. Unsaturated fat is found in fatty fish like salmon, avocados, and vegetable oil, while saturated fat is found in red meat and fried food.

4. Try Some Yoga

As Fairfield elderly care professionals recently learned, even doing just a few simple meditative yoga poses each morning can help sharpen focus and improve memory retention. And as a bonus, these types of exercises also improve flexibility.

5. Learn Something New

In one study, seniors who spent an hour learning how to use a new iPad app fared better on general memory tests than seniors who spent the same amount of time doing something fun that didn’t involve a new skill.

6. Do the Morning Crossword

By the same token, games that challenge the brain help build new neural pathways and improve memory. Encourage your loved one to complete a daily crossword while enjoying their coffee or tea each morning.

At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers are expertly trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which was designed to help seniors maintain mental acuity and stave off memory loss. CTM can be incorporated in any care plan at no additional cost to the client. Learn more about CTM or our Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Fairfield by calling our office today at 203-955-1915 and scheduling your complimentary in-home consultation.