Mental Stimulation and Play for the Elderly

Mounting research shows that mental stimulation and play for the elderly is critical to their mental health. There is growing evidence which shows that mental exercise may do more than forestall dementia, it may actually repair the brain, as well. Research is just beginning to discover that the brain has stem cells, and that by stimulating them, new neurons can be generated. So the old saying about old age being a second childhood is actually true.

Playing chess, bridge, cards, musical instrument and games — the kind of things that challenge the mind — have been proven to ward off dementia. A study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, found that mentally active seniors reduced their risk of dementia by as much as 75 percent, compared to those who do not stimulate their minds.

However, it’s not just mental stimulation that helps — physical play can help as well. For instance, studies have shown that walking barefoot on a rough surface, like a cobblestone matt can sharpen mental acuity and reduce blood pressure. Playing on a swing set, teeter totter and other toys can help improve balance, coordination and speed — so sending the grandparents to the park with the grandkids and getting them to join the fun is a great idea.

Of course, combining mental stimulation with physical challenges is the best of both worlds. Strangely enough, scientists found that dancing was the best options. It combines physical skills with the mental challenge of remembering the steps and performing them well.

Outings: We Put the Fun Back in Life

Victims of accidents and senior often find their mobility restricted, whether physically or simply because they are unable to drive. That doesn’t mean they should be locked up in their homes all the time. Not being able to get out and do things is one of the major causes for depression.

Angels for Life is all about putting the fun back in our clients’ lives. We love taking them on outings as much as they love getting out. By way of example, one of our female patients loves to grocery shop. At home, she is a very mild-mannered woman. But, at the grocery store — watch out as she takes CHARGE with her grocery cart!

Our caregivers enjoy all sorts of outings, big and small, including:

  • Walks in the park
  • Seeing a movie
  • Going out to breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • Getting ice cream on the spur of the moment
  • Going for a drive
  • Siteseeing
  • Shopping of all kinds (clothes, food, holiday, whatever!)
  • Talking a walk around the block
  • Going to the pet park
  • Seeing a concert, play or show
  • Going to church
  • Visiting a museum or the zoo
  • Checking out books (AND audio books) from the library
  • And so much more!

In addition to outings, Angels for Life offers non-medical caregiving and senior care in the comfort of your own home — wherever home may be (home, hospice, assisted living, independent living, VA etc.) —everything from shopping to transportation, personal care to companionship, meal preparation to light housekeeping and everything in between.