As we age, it’s normal for our cognitive skills to become less sharp. Older adults often experience situations where they forgot someone’s name, forget to do a task they planned to do, or forget a once vivid memory. Luckily, there are things that can be done to help combat cognitive issues. At Yuma Senior Living, we encourage our residents to partake in cognitive activities to help sharpen their cognitive skills. The brain can greatly benefit from mind exercises, just like other muscles, your body benefits from physical exercise. Here are a few things that are gained through practicing cognitive activities.
With so much life behind them, it can be easy for seniors to not remember everything that they’ve experienced. This becomes even more difficult when older adults aren’t asked about things in the past, as their memory recollection ability can become stagnant. When they’re able to participate in cognitive activities like trivia games, it helps sharpen their recall skills.
When you play a trivia game, you have to search through your mind to find the answers. The more you practice searching, the more navigable the avenues of recollection become. With enough practice, the skills they use from this activity will be able to be used to recall other memories when needed.
These are cognitive activities that can help older adults to hone their problem-solving abilities. One of those activities is completing a puzzle. Though it may seem like a tame or slow-going activity, the skills needed to complete such a task require seniors to use their brains extensively. At Yuma Senior Living we have a wide variety of new games, one-dimensional and multi-dimensional puzzles that are introduced to our residents monthly.
When completing a puzzle, older adults are asked to analyze each puzzle piece, both its shape and the picture on the surface. They must pay close attention to details in order to successfully complete the task. Seniors start off with puzzles that aren’t too difficult, as this will allow them to feel confident in their own abilities, then allow them to work their way up as their cognitive skills strengthen.
Coming up with new and exciting ideas can be difficult for anyone but can prove even more challenging for older adults. When they participate with other community residents in creative exercises, like arts and crafts, they are challenged to channel their creativity in ways they may not have before. Activities like painting, knitting, and sewing are all creative cognitive activities for seniors that can prove beneficial.
Accessing this creativity through arts and crafts allows seniors to use their hands and learn new ways to make their brains and hands work in unison. Once this skill is mastered, they can begin to use the skill to create works of their own. Making new designs, painting their surroundings, or creating something specifically for a loved one will allow them to come up with new ideas organically.
One of the best cognitive activities is reading. Reading allows seniors to come up with images in their minds, based on the information they’re given from the book. Because each person’s brain works differently, the picture they create in their head will differ as well. What they come up with is a product of their own imagination. This can also be done through storytelling exercises, where seniors aren’t reading but contributing to a story all their own. Imagination can create a nostalgic felling within seniors, who may not have tapped into their own imagination skills in years.