Boosting the Brain Helps the Whole Body

It’s a well-known fact that staying physically active can help seniors stay healthy and live longer. But it’s just as important to keep mentally active as well. We don’t work as hard to be sure our elderly loved ones stay mentally active and busy, but we should.

There may come a time when your senior loved ones can no longer be as physically active as they would like, but there is no reason why they should ever have to be less mentally active. There are a wide variety of activities to keep the mind challenged, including board games, card games, puzzles and books.

mentally active

Seniors are rapidly disproving the myth that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. They are returning to school in droves, mastering new technologies like computers, cell phones and digital cameras.  In fact, more people over 50 are buying computers than any other age group, and a full 50 percent of internet users are over age 50. People who stay mentally as well as physically active need less medical attention and medication, and exhibit better mood and less depression.

Stimulation is health food for the brain. An enriched environment and ongoing learning reduces the risk of brain deterioration, and can keep the mind and memory sharp indefinitely. Brains are thrill seekers. They love new, interesting and exciting experiences. Try something different and unusual to increate brain activity. Follow the same routine day after day and the brain goes on autopilot. Mentally snooze too long and brain cells begin to atrophy.

For an experience to create new neural connections, it must engage your attention, senses, contemplation and action. Simply observing without interacting is not enough. Traveling and exploring, playing games, interacting with people, creating, studying, learning a new skill all stimulate the brain. Aging becomes a great adventure, a journey of self-discovery and expansion when you encourage your senior loved ones to break out of their routine and venture into the unknown to tackle challenges.

The more activities your loved one gets involved in, the longer he or she will maintain their mental faculties. Studies show that seniors who interact socially and fill their life with a stimulation routine will remain healthier and mentally alert much longer. Seniors that are sedentary and who are loners tend to fare much worse.

Keep your aging loved ones busy by finding things that interest them, intrigue them and stimulate their minds. Caring for them will be far easier for you, when you encourage them to care for their brains as well as their bodies.

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