Stimulation and response are fundamental to healthy growth and maintaining brain functions. As it happens, with the right type of stimulating exercises, even gaining a few IQ points after the age of 60 is not entirely impossible, albeit rare. Any activity or game that challenges the various facets of our intelligence can be considered as a cognitive stimulant, which is actually a big advantage.
Cognitive Stimulation: How to Go About It?
We have all seen members of older generations playing chess, which is a well-known game for keeping one’s wits sharp in old age. Even basic activities such as reading regularly and maintaining a handwritten daily journal can help. However, for those wiling to put in the extra effort to keep their cognitive abilities as sharp as possible, there are a lot of other methods to consider, and we will discuss some of them next:
- Download a few brain stimulation apps such as Lumosity or Elevate, as these will methodically stimulate cognitive skills such as memory, recall, problem solving, etc.
- Try solving crossword puzzles and perhaps get into sudoku
- Start writing a story and finish it
- Download an app like Duolingo or Lingvist to learn a new language in multiple, enjoyable game formats.
Learn to Play a New Musical Instrument
Learning how to play a new musical instrument will engage the brain from multiple angles, so this has been proven to be one of the most effective methods for preserving mental fitness. If you already know how to play a few, you should be brushing up on those skills on a daily basis as well. There are, however, a few rules to keep in mind here:
- Chances are that learning how to play a new musical instrument will feel challenging as a senior, but irrespective of how long it takes, an active effort to progress must be made
- Frustration, brain freeze, and irritation are to be expected, but they are only natural reactions to the brain being worked in a new manner for the first time in a long time
- Try learning a different type of instrument than the one(s) you know how to play already (guitar players can try piano, for example).
Knowing the Signs: When to Start Looking for Nursing Homes
After a certain age, your mind might still be sharp, but your physical abilities will diminish significantly. Daily physical exercise can delay it, but a time may come when assisted living may not remain optional anymore. If you find yourself struggling with basic, regular activities related to walking, sitting, lying down, getting up, maintaining balance and the like, it is time to consider your options. If you aren’t sure where to start, take a look at this post on Caring Advisor, aptly named, Nursing Homes Near Me.
Age will inevitably have detrimental effects on the human mind, but there are ways through which we can delay or lessen the impacts quite significantly. In fact, studies show that even people with a high chance of developing Alzheimer’s can delay its onset, and in some cases, seniors have been able to avoid the latter stages of dementia entirely.