Caregiver Insights: Senior In Home Care

Brain Exercises for Mental Fitness in Seniors

By Patrick Philbrick-Director on Mar 10, 2015 1:22:39 PM

Senior Care in Sacramento CA

sacramento-home-care.jpgOne of the greatest myths of our time is that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” The truth is our brains our able to make new connections, to learn new things, to adapt to difficult situations, and to find new solutions to problems right up to the day we die. Scientists call this Neuroplasticity: the ability of the brain to constantly adapt, change, and keep us growing and maturing. The exception of course is diseased brains. People with Alzheimer’s and dementia slowly lose this ability as their brains actually wither and die.

Interestingly enough there is a lot we can do to improve our brain health. Just as with our bodies, diet and exercise are vitally important. In this article we are going to focus on exercising our brains into better health. This is not going to involve a lot of mental gymnastics. Instead what we really need to do is focus. Memory is not the most important aspect of a healthy brain, but rather the ability to focus on the bigger picture, to discern meaning from situations, and make wise long term decisions that produce healthy consequences are the most important traits of a healthy brain. In our Sacramento dementia care programs for in home care, we focus on these activities, trying to keep our clients active and participating in as many meaningful activities as possible to produce the best brain health possible.

Part of this involves narrowing our focus. According to neuroscientists, it is much better to do one job thoroughly and completely, slowing moving step by step through the process until completion. Jumping around, multi-tasking, trying to memorize a myriad of meaningful facts is not a good way to exercise our brains and in fact is counterproductive.

Generalize your focus and synthesize the information you are gathering. Don’t get too lost in the details. Try to derive the overall meaning from your task and draw upon your own experience and understanding to draw meaningful conclusions. This is how insights are formed. This experience exercises your brain in powerful ways, forging new connections and revitalizing this essential organ.

Resist the temptation to run on automatic pilot. Even though it’s a natural temptation for all of us to take the easier, softer path, droning through task without putting mental effort into it is deleterious to our minds. We need task that are novel and challenging to keep our minds sharp. Traveling to new places is a very enjoyable way to do this. When we go somewhere new, we have to problem solve to find our way around, figure out where to eat, learn where all the interesting sites are and so forth. This stimulates are brain and produces the good kind of stress that keeps are minds young. In our Sacramento home care agency we employ this as a daily strategy to give our clients the best possible quality of life.

Harmony Home Care provides senior care services for the greater Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado Counties including: Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay, Roseville, Cameron Park, Placerville and surrounding areas. For more information and a FREE assessment CALL (916) 414-9100.

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Topics: Harmony Home Care

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Everyone Should Be Cared for With Compassion & Dignity

Caring for an aging parent or spouse can be overwhelming. It takes a lot of time and energy, especially with so much already on your plate.

We understand because we’ve been through it with our own parents. Our founders, have both taken care of their own aging parents.

We started Harmony Home Care to help other families give their loved ones the care they deserve. We write this blog to help you deal with the challenges and stress of coping with your aging parents

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