How can you keep your brain fit and active? Try these top tips, and some fun brain games for seniors.
As we age, one thing that many people notice is some level of cognitive decline. It may be increased forgetfulness or losing your train of thought, which are a normal part of ageing. Or it could be something more serious like repetitively losing things and having difficulty making decisions. These need to be investigated with your doctor.
So how can you improve your brain health and wellbeing?
- Brain training: including games and new hobbies such as dancing and gardening.
- Being active: even a small increase in physical activity will make a difference.
- Socialisation: spending time with people you share common interests with.
- Diet: a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
- Medication: ensuring you take your medication to control high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and any other medical conditions.
- Purpose: make sure you have a reason to get out of bed each morning. Make plans every day and have things to look forward to.
Nurse and Health Services Manager Chris Crockett recommends some other fun ways to keep your brain active.
“You can try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand or put your socks on from left to right or vice versa. Doing things in a different way to normal helps develop new pathways in your brain. You could also try something brand new, like learning a new language or musical instrument.
“You could also complete our Memory Wellness program which provides in-depth information about improving and slowing down cognitive decline through health checks, brain training, and memory games and Apps. These programs are also a great way to meet new people and learn in a welcoming environment,” Chris said.
Some brain games for seniors include:
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Colouring books
- Word search
Also worth your time exercising your brain and memory:
- Card-matching games – great for brain function, visual processing and concentration
- Chess or checkers – great for exercising creativity and problem-solving
- Reading books and listening to music
- Learn a new language – there is an app called Duolingo that is very easy and helpful
- The App Lumosity is a great and fun for senior users
“Clients greatest fears are around being forgetful, and that it might mean they have dementia,” Chris said. ‘We educate our clients around the normal ageing process and that forgetfulness definitely does not necessarily mean it is a form of dementia. We explain dementia and varying types to help them understand when they need to check in with their General Practitioner.”
Chris said symptoms of cognitive decline can include:
- Forgetting important dates or events that you normally remember (or forgetting them and not recalling them again later).
- Difficulty in making decisions or plans.
- Repetitively losing things.
- Forgetting where a major place is in town, such as the train station or police station.
“We encourage our clients to talk with their General Practitioner if they have any sudden decline or if someone close to them notices a change in the way they think or react."
Call 1300 782 896 to find out more about our Memory Wellness program.
More articles to read next
Announcing the integratedliving Team’s Award Winners for 2023
Meet a few of the outstanding team members taking great care of clients, carers and families while upholding integratedliving's core values and principles.