Dementia also known as the neurodegenerative disease is a condition of the brain that impairs cognitive function, such as memory, language, and comprehension. It is caused by the death of brain cells in certain regions due to age or it can be due to certain diseases.

Although, a doctor can diagnose and prescribe medications for it. But the best treatment that a patient can possibly get is to start exercising regularly and reap the benefits because that’s the most effective way of managing dementia.

The latest cochrane review highlighted the benefits of exercise in reducing the risk of developing dementia and in maintaining cognitive function in people who already have it.

Exercise is good for your overall mental health. It can help improve mood, combat depression and anxiety, and reduce stress levels.

Exercise increases the level of happiness hormones such as dopamine and serotonin in the body which cause a reduction in stress-related symptoms and better mood.

There are many brain exercises for dementia patients, which are quite helpful in boosting the brain. These exercises will help grow new brain cells.

What Happens in the Brain when you Exercise?

With exercise, there is better blood flow in the body. Your heart gets better and with that blood flow, there is a better distribution of oxygen in the body.

Like every other organ, it also impacts the brain in a positive way and the brain starts getting more sugar as a result of exercising.

The critical part of the brain becomes more plastic and better adjustable to new challenges, which means you can try and learn new things.

The 2nd and most important thing about Exercising is the production of new brain cells in the key parts of the brain. They impact memory and it becomes easier to do problem-solving activities and carry out executive functions.

Dr Alvaro Pascual-Leone demonstrated this process from the Neuro perspective. Check out his explanation in the video below:

Brain Exercises For Dementia Patients

The main idea behind brain exercises is to keep the brain active. Put it into challenges. And in that perspective — below are the Brain Exercises good for dementia patients:

1. Learn Something New

That’s the beauty of your brain. You can learn anything at any age if you are willing and consider yourself strong enough. Activity and learning new things will keep your brain healthy.

Listed below are a few good ideas to consider learning something new:

a. Learn a New Language

You might be thinking what’s the use of a language if I’m not going to converse in it anyway? The thing is you never know, it can come in handy any day. Even if it doesn’t, why care? Your goal is actually training your mind to be active. And learning a new language is a great way of doing it.

b. Try Photography

This is something most people will find interesting. Give it a try and there are high chances you are going to love it. You can find some easy tutorials on Youtube on how to do photography.

c. Take Advantage of Technology

They say if you can’t beat them, join them. The same is true about technology. Real face-to-face interactions is not that common nowadays. People are very fond of technology and if you want to be in a loop of the young generation and want to influence and advise them or learn from them, make use of technology.

Start using the social media to share your views and learn from others and more importantly socialize with friends, family and the world.

2. Test Your Recalls

You can do it in many ways. Like make a list of items e.g. Grocery items and try to memorize it.

Recall it at a later time to see how much you remember. This is good for your mental stimulation. Try to make the list as challenging as possible.

3. Play Board Games

Board games like chess are very popular both offline and online. And besides challenging your mind, they are also fun and addictive to play. But don’t worry, it’s better to be addicted to something that actually helps.

Also, you can try many other board games other than chess. Like Bingo, Snakes and Ladders, dominoes and Uno to call a few.

4. Learn an Instrument

Studies have shown that learning something new that takes a long period of time is good for the aging brain. The key is to keep the brain active. And when you play your favorite instrument, it keeps the hand-eye coordination firm, which keeps the brain active in tracking them.

5. Solve Word Puzzles

These games require a high level of focus and concentration. Like games that involve arranging words e.g. Sudoku or crosswords games like Crossword puzzles. You can also try card games or jigsaw puzzles. They are all fun games and good for your brain.

6. Do math without a calculator

It can be challenging but worth trying. Where there’s a will, there’s a way 🙂

What will happen at worst? Your calculation will go wrong, but at least it will help your brain get some activity and the beautiful thing about the human brain is that if you keep trying it will succeed in figuring out the right results at some point. Remember hard work betrays none

7. Memory & Video Games

Another thing that can help in brain exercises for dementia patients is Games therapy. Compared to traditional psychological therapy and drug treatment, it is seen that games therapy especially serious video games that require utmost focus are quite helpful in keeping the mind focused and aligned, which is quite helpful for dementia patients.

8. Try Cooking New Things

Experiments can be good. Try going for a kind of dish you never tried before e.g. Indian or a Moroccan food dish. See what you get out of it. Surely it will bring in a lot of excitement and mental focus to the table even if the food is not cooked well 😀

9. Read & Write

We only do things that we have learned already. Reading is an opportunity to learn new things. They are the thoughts that someone has put on the paper and now it’s an opportunity for you to grab those treasures and make them part of your memory. The more you read books, the more you will learn new things.

Other than that, if you want to preserve your own memories, write them down. Let the world know them and take benefit from them.

Both these activities are using your brain energy, which is good for dementia patients because basically anything that keeps you busy and thinking and guessing, it’s helpful for you.

10. Practice fine motor skills

According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, fine motor skills are helpful for dementia patients.

Fine motors skills are the ones in which movement of small muscles in hands and wrists are involved.

11. Play Sports

Playing sports is just another way of exercising. If you think playing sports will be difficult as a dementia patient, think again, watch this 62-year-old dementia patient lady running a marathon…

12. Eat Proper Diet

Food is the fuel that keeps the human engine running. Good nutrition is a need of everyone.

Roughly 20% of the energy coming from food is consumed by your Brain. Now if your nutrition is good, you will be able to do all the activities that you need to do as a dementia patient to recover from the disease.

13. Quality Sleep

You surely will get tired after doing so much the whole day. Make sure that you take a good sleep. It is good for both your physical and mental health. The important thing to know is that having a good sleep is quite difficult for dementia patients, especially after consuming some of the medicine and the best time for you to take a good nap is before lunch.

14. Storytelling

The most interesting thing that old people have are their stories. People are always fond of what the past was like. And if you are an old folk who can fabricate things a bit, it’s a great thing to gather your own small audience 😀

You have no idea how much your stories are helpful and interesting to the younger ones. If possible share them on the Internet like on Facebook and Linkedin.

Or gather together your grandsons and daughter. A few small presents might even be helpful to gather them easily but high odds are they are already very fond of you. And your stories will always interest them.

15. Be Social

Staying active is helpful in more than one way. The best thing about it is you won’t remain self-consumed and lost in your own thoughts, which is not a good thing especially if you are suffering from dementia already.  Go to the park, movies, museums, even to a neighbor’s house. Not the noisy ones 😀 and you will surely find joy in such activities.

Surely, if you are an aged person, it feels more peaceful to stay in one place and not socialize much, but too much of it is very unhealthy and not good for your brain.

16. Gardening

Gardening is good both for physical and mental health. The activity your brain will go through while growing plants and vegetables and taking care of them will surely distract you from self-consumption and many other self-created demons in mind.

Take it as a fun activity and keep your mind busy for the good of it.

That’s all in brain exercises for dementia patients, what else will you like to add to the list. Also, share your thoughts in the comments section.

Also Read:

Brain Rehabilitation Exercises | A Guide to Recover Cognitive Skills

Categories: Fitness

Bilal Ahmed

A random guy on the Internet enthusiastic about Blogging Chess and Football Life motto "make people's lives easier"

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