5 Ways for Elderly to Ward Off Dementia

By Doris Kasold, 9:00 am on

It’s never too late to help your senior loved one take preventative health measures. Whether you’re a family, hourly, or live-in caregiver in Tampa, below are five ways you can help the senior you care for ward off dementia and continue living a happy and healthy life.

1. Reading and writing
Reading and writing on a daily basis helps a person’s brain process and restore information. One study shows people who engage regularly in mental activities, like reading and writing, had a mental decline rate 32 percent less than those with just average mental activity.

2. Consider raising a home garden
Not only is gardening a great way to stay physically active, but it also stimulates the mind by  requiring individuals to use their visual and spatial reasoning skills. Gardening also reduces blood pressure, muscle tension, and stress. If your senior loved one doesn’t have a yard, consider potted plants on a patio or around the house, or look up a local gardening club.

3. Play board games
Board games encourage seniors to exercise their brain, and the competitive nature of some board games actually helps to awaken dormant brain waves. Steer your loved one away from 1-player games like solitaire and towards games with a social aspect. Many studies have documented the positive effects of frequent socialization, including warding off diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

4. Walk as much as possible
Walking is a simple, low-impact exercise that helps to prevent dementia. A brisk walk in the park or mall will immediately boost blood circulation throughout brain and increase the amount of oxygen and nutrients being delivered. Some studies suggest walking can decrease Alzheimer’s risk by as much as 45%. If possible, adults should aim to walk at least four miles during the course of a day.

5. Take classes
Taking a course on an intriguing subject helps seniors maintain their cognitive thinking ability. New research suggests lifelong learners have a much lower risk of developing dementia compared to those who don’t participate in continuing education.

Another way to help your elderly loved one stay sharp as he or she ages is to find a Tampa caregiver trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which focuses on mental stimulation to slow cognitive decline. Don’t wait to take your loved one’s care to the next level. Learn more about in-home dementia care in Tampa or find a highly-trained caregiver by calling a Home Care Assistance Care Manager at (727) 330-7862.

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