The brain is one of the most complicated organs in the body, and Alzheimer’s is one of the most complex diseases. This means there are many different ways to help your loved one manage their symptoms or fight against this disease. One proven way is getting them involved in a lifestyle that is healthy for dementia patients, such as exercise. This post includes ten exercises that boost cognitive function and are perfect for residents of Alzheimer care in Sacramento.
1.) Word Games
Getting your loved one involved in word games is a great way to exercise their brain. Try quizzing them on simple words they might struggle to remember throughout the day, like colors, animals, or numbers. Think of a sentence that uses the word in a relevant context and read it to them. For example, if you said “red car,” you could show them a picture of a red car to jog their memory so they can hopefully remember the word.
2.) Athletic Activities
Many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients enjoy athletic activities that help them stay active. Keeping your loved one active will not only keep their body healthy, but it will also keep their mind sharp. Exercise and sports are good for people with Alzheimer’s because they trigger the release of endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that lift the mood and increase overall mental health. They can also boost other chemicals in the brain that help prevent neurodegeneration.
3.) TV Games
TV games like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune help exercise the brain and increase cognitive function for people with dementia by using memory and problem-solving skills. They also reinforce language skills and keep your loved one mentally active by engaging them in a physical activity that requires participation.
Game Show Network has a few shows that are good for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or you can try other options like the Price is Right, Millionaire, or the Newlywed Game.
Coloring is a great way to keep your loved one’s brain active while they do something they enjoy doing. There are a lot of coloring books available that have words or pictures on them. You could also try their favorite color, take a trip to the beach and draw sand, or go to their favorite restaurant and draw the food they remember from their younger years. They will also enjoy drawing simple patterns like nines and eights with crayons or colored pencils. Don’t forget to keep them safe from flying crayon shavings or stepping on sharp pieces of paper.
5.) Cooking Classes
Chores and cooking classes are a great way to keep your loved one’s living at Alzheimer care in Sacramento mind active without even leaving the house. Find a class that has simple recipes that are easy for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s to follow. Explain how the dish is prepared and how it’s consumed. For example, tell them to put salt in the water when boiling pasta so they won’t burn their tongue.
Puzzles are a great way to exercise the brain as well because they are fun for almost everyone. Color-coded puzzles like Sudoku, scramble, or Sudoku games are especially good for people with dementia because they require a lot of concentration and require the brain to use several different areas at the same time. You can ask your loved one to identify pictures that fit certain scenarios, or they can try the traditional puzzles you find in newspapers.
Bicycling is an excellent way to exercise your loved one’s brain because they can take their time while they do something they love, and it doesn’t require a lot of coordination. They can even start doing easy rides around the neighborhood or community trails, which are good for offering exercise and are safe for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
8.) Hobbies and Crafts
Hobbies and crafts are a great way to exercise the brain because they make your loved one work on different skills together. For example, you could have your loved one create a collage out of old photographs, play board games with friends or family members, or make their own composition music.
9.) Nature Walks
Walks with your loved one in nature are great for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia because they stimulate the mind by taking them away from the noise and depression in their environment. Take your loved one to a scenic trail or park that has beautiful scenery and have them watch the birds, trees, and flowers.
Gardening is a great way to exercise the brain because it helps your loved one stay busy and challenged while they do something enjoyable at the same time. The worst thing that can happen is they might catch a bug or get their feet wet, so waterproof boots or rubber gloves are recommended when gardening in or near water.
11.) Board Games
Board games are a good way to keep your loved one under Alzheimer care in Sacramento busy and challenged as well. You can play a game that has simple rules like Checkers or get them involved in a more complex game like Monopoly or Agricola. You can even mix the two together by playing Monopoly with an attached book of instructions. A really fun Christmas gift idea is playing Yahtzee or Connect 4.
These exercises are meant to improve cognitive function in Alzheimer care in Sacramento patients and help them fight their disease by stimulating the brain in new and creative ways. It is important to take into consideration the time and space constraints in which each of these activities will be performed.
Most primary caregivers also need to change the type and structure of these activities as their loved one’s condition progresses. For example, when dealing with people who have dementia or Alzheimer’s, you may want to avoid things too mentally stimulating because it can become overwhelming. Likewise, don’t engage in activities that are too physically or mentally challenging because your loved one may not be able to continue them.