As you age, your mental well being is just as important as your physical wellbeing, as it helps maintain your independence, mental health, relationships and memory.
Your brain is just like any other muscle in your body, if you don’t use it, it will weaken but if you regularly exercise it and feed it knowledge it will get stronger. In this article we are going to share some activities that will get your brain working and help improve your memory.
Quizzes can stimulate your brain as you race to get as many answers as possible. In retrieving the answers to questions being asked, and learning the information when you don’t know the answer, you are working on your cognitive skills.
If you are taking part in the quiz as part of a team, you are also getting your brain to work on communication skills and listening skills.
You can find many general knowledge quizzes online, or even test your knowledge on a specific subject that you or a loved one are passionate about. Alternatively, ask a loved one or home carer to put together a quiz all about your family, friends and hobbies to make it more personal.
This number game requires you to use logic and memory to get the numbers 1 to 9 in each row and each column. It’s a good game to get into as there are different levels, so when you master the beginner Sudoku boards, you won’t get bored and can push your brain further by advancing up to the next level.
Sudoku helps with problem solving skills, which in turn helps you with decision making, and will also exercise your memory as you will need to remember where you have put each number. You can pick up Sudoku books from your local supermarket, bookstore or find apps online if you own a smartphone.
Another way to work on problem solving is through working out brain teasers. These riddles can be picture based or verbal questions; one works just as well as the other.
Completing brain teasers will not only improve problem solving skills but also your general mood. The sense of satisfaction when you have worked out (or remembered) the answer is always a great feeling that you can take with you into the rest of your day.
These don’t have to be boring or done alone. If you have a home carer or live in carer you could make it a competition with them to see who can figure it out first, or they could become part of your care routine as you could get your carer to bring a new one with them whenever they visit.
Crosswords are a great way to practice mental independence and initiative. Crosswords are almost like the word equivalent of Sudoku, you have to fill in the gaps with the word from the clues given.
They are also known to increase your vocabulary, as they introduce you to new words and their definitions.
Fact of the day: It has been shown that completing crosswords can delay memory loss by about two and a half years*.
Puzzles are a great way to sharpen your short term memory and can help you unwind from the noise and chaos of daily life. Doing puzzles on a regular basis is a good way to help slow down your memory deterioration as you age.
This is because in order to complete a puzzle you need to look at images and see how they fit together to create the bigger picture. This is called visual-spatial thinking and helps to improve memory, as well as helps with activities such as packing, navigating and driving a car.
Our befriending service provides a perfect puzzle buddy to join you in completing your puzzles, so that you don’t get lonely while doing them.
The practice of marking a card while numbers are being called out involves you working on your hand – eye coordination. The game itself is stimulating and the nature of it makes it social too. These mean that not only will it have positive effects on your memory but will improve your overall mental health.
If you need a little more assistance with getting to a regular bingo meeting with friends Burley’s Home Care can help you. Our live in care, befriending and home care services both include helping you get to and from your favourite hobbies and activities so that you don’t have to miss out.
This black and white board game exercises logic and problem solving. If you have never learnt to play, it is also a great game to learn as it can be a little complicated at first so it will really work your brain hard but once you get into the flow you can really develop your problem solving skills.
This is a great game for you to play with a carer and is something that can be discussed when creating your bespoke care plan. If you have a live in carer, it is also a great game to play, as you could leave the board out and come back to the game as and when you want – this would be a true test of memory!
You don’t have to go out and buy a new PS4 or Xbox for this! All we mean is that you can play video games on pretty much any device now, whether that be a laptop, mobile phone or tablet. Video games can be stimulating and help you keep your mind sharp. There are so many games available you are sure to find one that is to your taste.
And if nothing else, the technology now means you can easily take a crossword, or sudoku with you wherever you go. Plus video games don’t have to mean being active or leaving your home, which could be a bonus if you have some mobility issues. If you like playing a game that is for 2 players we can make sure that we match you with a home carer or live in carer that will play the games with you.
How could our Home Care help further?
We are passionate about helping our home care clients stay as independent as possible, and we know that mental wellbeing and maintaining good memory are key to that. This is why, after a first consultation with us, we will match you with a carer based on not just your needs but your likes and hobbies, so that you always have someone who will enjoy helping you with your brain training.
If you would like to know more about how we could help you or your loved one maintain their memory, get in touch today by calling your local office: