How often do you hear your parents complain about not being able to locate car keys or forgetting the names of their year-long neighbors sometimes? While forgetfulness is normal to some extent, mainly if you are under heavy stress, these subtle signs in seniors indicate that they may be transitioning to a not-so-exciting stage where their memories are going south.
Although there are no guarantees that memory won’t fade over time, did you know that some simple activities can help along the way?
In today’s article, we will share the best 9 memory loss activities to help you provide better care and attention to your parents and those living with memory loss in your life.
The Best 9 Memory Loss Activities to Stay Sharp and Enhance Cognitive Health in Seniors
Taking Part in Physical Activities
Exercising and participating in low-intensity physical activities for at least 150 minutes a week is advantageous for seniors experiencing memory-loss symptoms or at higher risk of dementia.
When it comes to senior exercise, think outside of the box. A wide range of senior-friendly activities allows your parents to get their bodies moving indoors, such as taichi, stretching, chair exercises, yoga, and pilates. Going for a walk around the block or the neighborhood is a fail-free activity that your parents can do anytime. Sign up for a daily fitness class offering mild aerobics or aquatic activities are some examples of enjoyable activities for preventing memory loss in seniors.
Doing Home Chores
Although most seniors find cleaning and organizing tasks mundane and undesirable, these real-world activities are found to promote cognitive health and improve attention span and memory. A combination of light to moderate housework also contributes to stronger legs and greater mobility — and it is cost-efficient, too!
But it doesn’t mean your parents should exhaust themselves by scrubbing the floor or dusting off the basement until they are spotless. Some of the best chores they can do to ward off memory loss while keeping the house in order include folding laundry, setting the table, vacuuming the floor, organizing kitchen items and appliances, etc.
Playing Board Games
Believe it or not, childhood board games can make big differences in memory loss prevention.
From Solitaire, word search, and Jigsaw puzzles to Uno, Scrabble, and card matching, these fun-packed classic games can give your parents the best giggles of their lives, whether they play with their friends and family members or all by themselves. Along with playing traditional games, your parents can have a blast playing online games on their smartphones or tablets whenever they choose. Choose games with simple rules to follow to avoid frustration.
Cooking & Assembling Food
Getting creative in the kitchen or assembling simple dishes is another activity to combat dementia and boost memory. Preparing fresh produce and putting meals together provide therapeutic effects that can help your parents refine their motor skills, attain a sense of accomplishment, take their minds off their day-to-day concerns, and reduce agitation.
Keep your parents by your side while cooking, and let them help with tasks like mixing, measuring, stirring, pouring, and washing. Stick to easy-to-make and nutritious recipes so they can cook for themselves when you are away.
With cognitive health and logical thinking impaired with age and other health factors over time, reading books is connected with lower risks of cognitive decline and dementia.
In addition to being an immersive source of knowledge and inspiration, this intellectual activity helps seniors preserve their language skills, increase their vocabulary, and keep their brains limber when practiced every day.
Another healthful benefit appreciated by seniors with sleep disturbance is that reading before bedtime can put them to sleep faster due to its relaxing effects on the body and mind. To get your parents started, introduce them to easy-to-read or starter-level books with short and non-complex stories.
Indulging in Creative Endeavors
Joining in creative endeavors is one of the fun activities for memory loss worth exploring, especially for seniors having problems memorizing things and details.
The best part about indulging in these artistic activities is that art has no boundaries or rules. It means that your parents can step out of their shells and express their thoughts, emotions, and feelings without the fear of being judged.
A few examples of art and craft ideas to introduce to your parents are watercolor painting, pottery, crocheting, coloring, making a scrapbook, decorating greeting cards, assembling jewelry, etc.
Taking Up a New Hobby
By taking up a new hobby that they have never tried before, your parents can keep their brains stimulated and active.
Many hobbies with brain and hand coordination help in remastering motor skills and halting memory loss. They also offer numerous health benefits, including relieving stress, strengthening the immune system, and increasing social interaction. Check here for the list of hobby clubs your parents may find interesting.
Socializing With Others
Many studies have found a correlation between memory decline and loneliness. Loneliness can cause memory loss in some seniors and increase the risk of dementia by up to 27%. Seniors living with memory loss also often experience increased feelings of loneliness.
Encourage your parents to join social clubs, engage in shared activities, or spend time with friends or family. One of the activities for memory loss that your parents can do is step out and start socializing. By chatting and laughing with like-minded people and experiencing new things, your parents can feel less lonely, put their brains to work, form close bonds with others, and improve their quality of life.
Many seniors with memory problems can greatly benefit from spending more time in their backyards.
Gardening is one of the memory loss activities that has been proven effective in improving cognitive health, memory recall, and relieving stress. By digging in the dirt and caring for plants, your parents can foster mental comfort and a sense of relaxation and satisfaction. Working in the garden is a great way to get your parents connected with nature, soaking up the sun, and stimulating their senses.
If you have questions about memory loss activities or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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