With the widespread prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, many caregivers and families with aging loved ones are looking for ways to “exercise” their brains. This helps promote cognitive function and can also be an enjoyable interaction for both people involved.
Below are some ideas for ways to care for an elderly individual, while stimulating their mind at the same time.
Older people have wisdom to share and some of their stories can truly be amazing. It’s wonderful to hear of their experiences, lessons learned, their way of life, and general musings and adventures. There are great lessons to be learned from these special individuals and they deserve a listening ear.
Seniors also feel a sense of purpose and pride when they can pass on their insights and wisdom, so it’s a great way to build their confidence and a stronger connection. Many seniors find a declining self-worth during their later years, so this helps to prevent that as well.
It’s critical for your aging loved one to know they are still respected, and you can send that message by giving them your full attention and time. Make sure to be attentive and present during the conversation, which means you are fully immersed in their stories, as opposed to listening while cleaning or fixing a meal.
Ask Deep Questions
If you are at a loss for what to do, simply ask your senior questions. Be sincere and inquisitive, and you are sure to learn something new. Their answers will often reveal things about themselves you may have never known. You’ll build a stronger connection, discover their preferences, and become a better caregiver. The more you hear, the more there is to learn.
Games such as chess, Scrabble, and various card games are a great way to pass the time and exercise the mind as well. You get to learn new things from your senior all while having fun and stimulating them mentally. It’s a great way to break things up and promote laughter, light-heartedness, and concentration.
Whether you are a caregiver or family member, try some of our tips the next time you spend time with your senior. We’re sure you will both have a better and more fulfilling interaction.