It’s a common characterization that mental stimulation regularly throughout life can help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The more mentally active a person is, the less likely they’re to be diagnosed with any form of dementia. That doesn’t mean, though, that everyone who is mentally engaged every single day is going to avoid one of these diagnoses, but it certainly helps.
When a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, though, one of the immediate assumptions is that mental focus and stimulation is no longer as necessary or important. The thinking goes something like this, “Since I’ve already been diagnosed with this disease, what’s the point in trying to stay mentally active?”
Research indicates it is still highly valuable.
The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation has determined that mental stimulation early in the progression of the disease can help slow down more memory loss in the future.
This does not, in any way, indicate a cure is on the horizon, but better treatment options that may delay the onset of more serious aspects of memory loss by a matter of months, possibly even years.
When memory loss is slowed down because the brain is constantly engaged in strengthening neural networks, it allows that person to maintain a higher quality of life longer. Eventually, though, the memory loss will become significant and that senior might struggle to recognize their surroundings and the people in their life.
How to get started with mentally stimulating activities.
For any senior who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, taking up the crossword puzzle, doing sudoku puzzles, engaging in strategic thinking games like chess or checkers, and even doing more advanced puzzles can all help to stimulate the brain in different ways.
Another fun activity for many people is to creatively write or take on another type of artistic endeavor, including painting or learning a musical instrument. If a person is learning something new, stretching their creativity, and even exploring stories by pen and paper, that’s going to offer them not just wonderful rewards in the moment, but possibly pay dividends later on.
How to help that aging family member when you’re working.
It’s not going to be easy when you’re working a full-time job and have other responsibilities, which is why home care is such a valuable asset to consider. An experienced home care aide can help that senior participate in mentally engaging activities while still living independently, which is often incredibly important for most people.