Cognitive decline is an unfortunate but unavoidable part of aging. It’s just a question of whether it happens gradually or unfolds rapidly. Seniors are always looking for ways to avoid a decline and the accidents that come with it. Loss of memory, balance, or wherewithal can cause physical injury too, leading many struggling seniors to rely on the best medical alert system day in and day out to stay safe.
While genetics and other factors outside of our control play significant roles in age-related mental decline, there are things we can do as we age to preserve our brain function as much as possible. It comes down to the level of cognitive effort involved in an activity.
Any hobby, game, or activity that requires critical thinking and learning new things is tremendously useful at warding off the age-related loss of brain function. With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven fun and exciting examples:
While video games were once associated with mindless entertainment, the current assessment is the complete opposite. Whether it’s Super Mario, Grand Theft Auto, Among Us, or one of the hundreds of other popular titles involving fast reflexes, ongoing problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, video games are a fun and exciting way to keep your mind sharp as you get older.
Visiting casinos remains a very popular activity among the elderly population. While it doesn’t require much cognitive effort to operate a slot machine, casino table games are different. Whether it’s poker, blackjack, or craps, winning comes down to strategy and skill. What’s fun about these games is that you can play all of them from home with family members or online. There’s a game for everyone so try them all! Once a senior finds a new game full of strategy they enjoy, you can expect them to be mentally stimulated by it for quite some time.
It’s never too late to learn how to paint a picture, carve a sculpture, or create interactive digital art pieces. Even better, doing so is shown to sharpen the mind and keep cognitive abilities strong.
While debating politics might be off the table for the foreseeable future, there are plenty of other topics with the potential to generate thoughtful conversation between seniors and their loved ones. A long chat about life in the old days or discussing thoughts and feelings about a book or movie are sure to aid in preserving aptitude and intelligence as we get older.
Venturing into unfamiliar environments is beneficial for cognitive function. With this in mind, nature walks, hikes, and bike rides are a great way to exercise the brain and the body. Just make sure to tell someone where you’re going and what time you expect to return. It also makes sense to bring a GPS-enabled device in case you get lost.
Reaching full fluency might be hard to pull off after your 40th birthday, but learning a new language is possible regardless of age. What’s more, learning to speak in a foreign tongue is incredibly useful for exercising the brain.
Whether it’s jigsaws, crosswords, or Soduki, puzzles are among the most popular ways to test your cognitive abilities while practising mental agility. Most puzzles can be done alone at home, making them useful ways to keep minds sharp during the ongoing pandemic.
There’s no escaping the fact we lose cognitive abilities as we age. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do to stave off the inevitable. By doing things that require critical thinking, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving, we help keep our brains staying sharper for longer.