Update on Coronavirus / COVID-19 and senior safety, click here for more information.

6 Strategies for Increasing Intellectual Wellness in Older Adults

By , 9:00 am on

When it comes to physical and mental capabilities, the phrase “use it or lose it” is often mentioned. This is very much true when it comes to maintaining intellectual health and wellbeing later in life. Doing so can contribute to increased mental alertness, reduced risk of cognitive decline, and a generally positive and beneficial state of mind. Today, we’re going to focus on six ways to increase intellectual wellness in the elderly.

1. Reading

The simple act of reading provides a way for seniors to absorb new knowledge, stimulate the imagination, and relax and unwind. Older adults can enjoy reading in many ways, some of which include:

• Solitary reading of books or listening to audiobooks
• Book clubs and similar group-based activities involving reading
• Reading books out loud with other family members

2. Playing Brain Games

Another way intellectual stimulation can be enjoyable for the elderly is with brain games, which refers to games that stimulate multiple parts of the brain. For example, working puzzles and playing board games can help with recall, memory retention, and pattern recognition. Brain-stimulating apps can provide similar benefits for seniors. Some of these include:

• Lumosity
• NeuroNation
• Fit Brains
• CogniFit

Participating in brain-boosting activities can stave off dementia in the golden years. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Fairfield seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

3. Finding New Ways to Learn

Actively making an effort to acquire new knowledge helps with the creation of new passageways for nerve signals (neural pathways), which could compensate for age-related changes within the brain. Some colleges and universities offer free courses for seniors covering a variety of topics. Learning can also be done via online videos or courses. Even something like learning how to cook healthy new recipes from using cooking tutorial apps can be intellectually beneficial for seniors.

4. Exploring Art and Music

Both artistic and musical endeavors can stimulate multiple areas of the brain in a way that gets both sides of the brain to work together more effectively. When this happens, older adults may notice positive cognitive and physical changes. Fortunately, there are many ways elderly individuals can reap the intellectual rewards associated with art and music. Possibilities include:

• Learning how to paint or sculpt, even if it’s just for fun
• Visiting local museums or art galleries
• Attending music-related events
• Learning how to play an instrument
• Participating in group singing sessions

5. Talking/Communicating

Regular conversations and interactions can do wonders for the human mind. The simple act of having a conversation allows seniors to remain mentally engaged and alert. Fortunately, there are many ways older adults can talk, communicate, and interact today, including:

• In-person conversations with friends and family members
• Group discussions at regular meetings of support groups for seniors
• Social media platforms and/or video chatting
• Informal group interactions—e.g., gathering with friends for lunch on a regular basis

When receiving assistance with daily tasks throughout the week, your loved one can also engage in mentally stimulating conversations with his or her caregiver. Homecare providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

6. Keeping a Journal

Some elderly individuals don’t have a consistent outlet for sharing their feelings. Keeping personal thoughts inside can contribute to anxiety and stress, which can have a negative impact on both physical and mental wellbeing. Keeping a personal journal, whether it’s a traditional or online one, can be mentally and intellectually therapeutic for older adults. 

Stimulating the brain can make it easier to maintain a high quality of life with age. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Fairfield elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at 203-955-1915 to find out how we can help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life.