7 Mind Stimulating Activities for Seniors

Guest Contributor Charlie Svensson on Memory Cafe Directory

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7 Mind Stimulating Activities for Seniors

Submitted by Guest Contributor
Charlie Svensson

As we get older our brains slow down and most people consider this a normal part of aging. However, if we keep stimulating our brains with daily activities, we may be able to avoid the most common mental decline that comes with aging.

Senior living communities know it is critical for seniors to continue challenging their minds to maintain the sharpness they enjoyed when they were younger. Their life experiences have proven that mind-challenging activities benefit seniors’ lives as discussed in this blog post…but before that;

What are Mentally Stimulating Activities?

Mentally stimulating activities engage the brain and challenge it to think logically, critically, analytically, creatively, or conceptually. The idea is to keep the mind engaged throughout a task so that it doesn’t wander off down memory lane or start thinking about other things.

Usually, the activity will involve learning something new. They may be activities that build on existing skills, or they might be brand new things that stretch the mind and force it to adapt in order to complete the task successfully.

Either way, these types of daily mental exercises can help seniors maintain their cognitive abilities while avoiding many of the symptoms associated with normal aging. It’s believed that people who stay mentally active are less likely to suffer from conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease because this type of stimulation seems to slow the onset of these illnesses by keeping their brains sharp well into old age. Here are seven stimulating activities seniors should do:

1 Learning a New Language

This is one of the best ways for seniors to stimulate their minds while also gaining a new skill. It’s believed that learning a foreign language helps to keep the brain sharp because it forces people to use existing mental skills while adding new information to their memories. As far as mind-stimulating activities go, learning another language is one of the best for seniors because it can be done at almost any age and doesn’t require perfect pitch or an abundance of physical strength.

2 Creating Something

Seniors can work on developing their creative abilities by creating anything from paintings, drawings, or sculptures, which are all wonderful mind-stimulating activities seniors can enjoy through art classes. Meditation is also considered a very creative activity that seniors can try if they want to focus on calming themselves down instead of focusing on outward artistic expression. Seniors can also study music and learn how to play an instrument.

3 Going on a trip

Now, this recommendation may sound a bit farfetched but then taking a trip somewhere is actually, another great way for seniors to challenge their minds. This is because; they will be exposed to new experiences and information they wouldn’t normally encounter at home.

Seniors may stay sharp by absorbing the local culture, studying historical sites, or learning about the different flora and fauna in the new surroundings. Being exposed to new people and places forces the mind to work overtime as it searches for similarities and differences between its own life experiences and those of others.

4 Reading books

We fully acknowledge that there has been some debate over whether reading offers mental benefits to seniors. Now, many studies suggest that if it is done regularly, it can help seniors maintain their ability to think and communicate thoughts. Some studies suggest that seniors who read regularly are even less likely to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

5 Daily Puzzles

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Daily Sudoku or crossword puzzle challenges are a great way for seniors to use their minds every day. It forces them to work out logic problems, mathematical equations, and vocabulary words, which help keep the mind sharp as it tries to figure out the best solution. Seniors can also do these types of puzzles online with regularity if they find this activity challenging enough on its own.

6 Socializing

Being social and interacting with people on a daily basis is another effective way seniors can stimulate and challenge their minds by using conversation skills frequently. Talking with friends or family members, joining a book club, or visiting the library are all great ways for seniors to maintain their mental abilities.

7 Exercising

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Seniors who choose to exercise as a form of mind stimulation can find this activity especially helpful because it helps keep both the body and mind limber and ready for action. Research shows that exercising regularly throughout one’s lifetime reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 60 percent. Therefore, working out on a regular basis is another wonderful way seniors can stimulate their brains and avoid many cognitive problems associated with normal aging.

Bonus Brain Games

Although they may be labeled as entertainment instead of crucial brain exercises, there is controversy over whether these types of games actually help people stay sharp or simply feed their brains with even more useless information. Many seniors report that practicing these games has led to slight improvements in their memory, but there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence suggesting they are necessary for seniors who wish to maintain sharp cognitive abilities throughout their lives.

How do you choose the best Mind Stimulating Activities to do?

While there are many options available to seniors, one of the best ways to avoid cognitive decline is by choosing stimulating activities that regularly challenge their brains. While it may be tempting for seniors to sit on the couch and watch television in order to take a break from their mental challenges, doing so can actually make things worse in the long run.

This is because it only allows them to become more complacent with their abilities. Therefore, seniors who wish to maintain sharp minds throughout their lives should choose mind-stimulating activities that require them to focus on new information or unusual situations that force clear thinking instead of sticking with simple ideas or familiar tasks.

Below are five things that can help you choose the best mind-stimulating activities that can work for you:

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1 Choose mind-stimulating activities which you will enjoy: Although the point of doing these activities is to help seniors avoid cognitive problems, it can be counterproductive if they choose activities that make them miserable. It may be a good idea for seniors to try several different types of stimulating activities before they find one or two which keep their minds fresh while also being fun and enjoyable.

2Choose mind-stimulating activities based on your current abilities. Seniors who are worried about avoiding cognitive decline should always do what they can to stay sharp instead of choosing challenging new things just because they have been stuck in a rut with their old routine. If you currently read one book per week, then you don’t need to sign up for a book club that requires reading three times that amount because you will likely become frustrated or annoyed instead of stimulated.

3Choose mind-stimulating activities that require you to use new skills: Seniors worried about avoiding cognitive decline should always choose mind-stimulating activities that force them to develop new skills and learn even more. While it is great for seniors to engage in their regular routine, they should also explore different types of activities regularly so that they don’t fall too far into complacency with their abilities. This is especially important for seniors who have been doing the same things for years because changing your usual schedule can keep old minds refreshed and prevent boredom from leading to complacency.

4 Choose mind-stimulating activities based on what your body can do: Seniors worried about avoiding cognitive decline should always choose mind-stimulating activities that they can accomplish safely. Nobody wants to fall or become injured while trying to keep their minds sharp, so seniors need to choose activities that work with how their bodies feel instead of against them. This is especially important for seniors who have physical limitations but still wish to retain mental strength because they will need to find new ways to challenge their brains without putting themselves in harm’s way.

5 Choose mind-stimulating activities which require your full attention: Although it isn’t necessarily bad for seniors to occasionally engage in activities where they can multitask or think ahead of time, any time spent planning what you plan on doing when you get there instead of actually enjoying your time there should be avoided. This is especially true for seniors because, by the time they get to their mind-stimulating activities, they need to have had a full day of mental and physical activity without distractions in order to get the most out of them.

Final Words

The mind is an amazing thing. It can grow stronger as people age if challenged regularly by using the seven activities mentioned, which offer a wonderful way for senior citizens to keep their brains stimulated so they don’t lose mental capacities to normal aging. Learning another language, studying music, visiting new places, exercising daily, reading books, socializing with friends, and playing brain games are all examples of mind-stimulating activities seniors can try out on a daily basis.

Charlie Svensson

Charlie Svensson is a fast, engaging freelance writer at best essay writing services, Essaygeeks and assignment writing help. Skilled in content writing and blogging. The favorite topics of his posts are education, social media, marketing, SEO, motivation blogging and self-growth. Excellent adaptability of skills to reach diverse audiences.

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