For adults concerned that their cognitive abilities may fade as they age, there’s some good news. Exciting findings reveal that engaging in deliberate “brain fitness” program can yield significant benefits – just like a daily exercise regimen.
Normal aging causes changes in the brain. Even healthy individuals experience some decline in cognitive ability. The brain is like any other muscle. It needs exercise to stay in shape. The more exercise it gets the better the brain is at processing information. Memory exercises can help both long and short-term memory recall.
Some effective memory exercises include: crossword puzzles, Sudoku, card games, chess, and reading. A memory study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that seniors who read, play games, work on the computer, or make crafts such as pottery or quilting had a 30 to 50 percent decrease in memory loss compared to people who did not participate in those activities.
Alzheimer’s Disease is now as much as an epidemic as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease in the United States. It is the sixth-leading cause of death for all Americans. Every 67 seconds another American will develop Alzheimer’s Disease. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s because there is no way to replace brain tissue once it has died. So start engaging in some mental stimulation today. We offer our residents the same opportunity with our Wisdom in Senior Education (WiSE) classes. Ranging in different topics from Wii Bowling to stenciling, WiSE classes are offered four semesters per year, with fun and engaging activities offered every semester.
Jennifer A. Honeyford, CTRS
Director of Recreation Therapy at PPh