This is not a problem only for 65 years olds. Cognitive problems like dementia can occur as early as the ’30s. In every second, around 32,000 neurons — brain cells — die, which is roughly 1.9 million in a minute. Now dementia is a cognitive issue that has nothing to do with brain cells dying but actually, it happens because those cells are damaged and they are not able to communicate with each other. Resulting in problems like thinking properly and getting a feel of things.
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. There are certain brain exercises for dementia. Patients can benefit from them and they are quite helpful. Consequently, they can even grow new brain cells. One activity that tops them all is physical exercising.
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 and carry out executive functions.
Dr Alvaro Pascual-Leone demonstrated this process from the Neuro perspective. Check out a short video below:
Other 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:
- Learn Something New
- Test your recalls
- Play Board Games
- Learn an Instrument
- Solve Word Puzzles
- Do math without a calculator
- Memory & Video Games
- Try Cooking
- Read & Write
- Practice fine motor skills
- Play Sports
- Eat Proper Diet
- Quality Sleep
- Be Social
Learn Something New
That’s the beauty of your brain. Get it active, learn new things and it will stay healthy.
1. 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.
2. 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. A little tip, go with a Canon’s Camera as a beginner, they have the easiest settings.
3. 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 advice them or learn from them, make use of technology. Maybe start working on Linkedin Branding. You can very easily create a following there. If you share your life experiences, people are very fond of listening to experienced stories.
Check this video to understand more about Building your Personal Brand and the good in it:
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.
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.
Learn an Instrument
Studied have shown that learning something new that takes a long period of time is good for the ageing brain. The key is to keep the brain active. And when you play your favourite instrument, it keeps the hand-eye coordination firm, which keeps the brain active in tracking them.
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.
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…
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.
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 😀
Read & Write
We only do things that we have learnt 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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Staying active is helpful in more than one ways. 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 neighbour’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.
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.