Learning new things can give your brain a challenge. It is believed to be one of the best ways you can prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. But if you are a busy caregiver, finding time to routinely give your brain a workout might be difficult. This week we have pulled together a few quick ideas to help Missouri and Illinois caregivers exercise their grey matter:
- Games & Puzzles. We know the idea of older adults working puzzles is something of a cliché, but dementia research shows that games and puzzles can help give your brain the workout it needs. In addition to working old-school crossword books and table-top puzzles, most tablet devices like the iPad and Kindle have games you can download for free. Fit Brains and Lumosity are two great online resources. Both have science-based games designed to help those neurons keep firing.
- For the Birds. This is one activity you can probably adapt to allow a loved one with a disability to enjoy with you. While they may not be able to hike through the woods, they can help identify the birds in photos that you take on your walk. Together, you can research what each type of feathered friends is and learn more about them. You might also want create a scrapbook or slide show of your photos.
- Strike Up the Band! Something as easy as purchasing an inexpensive keyboard and learning how to play a few, simple songs can help keep your brain fit. Learning a musical instrument ranks high in brain boosting benefits.
- Master a new language. Buy a foreign language CD or borrow one from your local library. Maybe try one for a country you have on your bucket list to visit. As you are making your way around town between appointments or preparing meals, you can listen to the CD and learn on the go. Like music, language development ranks high in brain fitness.
- Learn a new hobby. Tackling a new hobby can also boost your brain power. It might be taking a watercolor class or learning digital photography. If you need ideas to explore to help you find a new pastime, Discover a Hobby is a great resource. They have hobbies categorized for everything from “Games” to “Spiritual & Mental.”