Brain Training or The Elderly

Brain Training or The Elderly

 "Use it or lose it" often refers to the importance of exercising and staying in shape. Exercise for your brain is equally important. Your brain needs regular training, especially as you get older. After age 65, your risk of developing dementia doubles about every 5 years.

Dementia is not a disease. It is a collection of symptoms caused by damaged brain cells caused by other diseases. These cells affect your memory, personality, and decision-making ability. Brain damage can result from a head injury, stroke, or illness, such as Alzheimer's disease (type 1 dementia). Other diseases, such as uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, can cause another form of dementia called vascular dementia (2nd most common form of the disease). Dementia is caused by poor blood supply to the brain. It also affects memory, personality, and decision-making.

While some forms of dementia cannot be cured and cannot be repaired, research shows that keeping your brain active, eating healthy, and exercising can help keep your brain healthy. delay the onset of dementia. It can also help prevent brain damage from injury or disease. The sooner you start a brain-training activity, the better the benefits. 

The Way to Better Health

If you're healthy and under 65, stimulating your brain with activities and games can keep your mind sharp later in life (unless you develop a dementia-related illness). brain or suffered a stroke or head injury). If you currently have some form of dementia, brain games and “mindfulness” activities can still be helpful.

There are many online games and apps available to play on your computer, mobile phone or tablet. Some are free and some require a one-time or monthly fee. Don't forget the benefits of playing simple board games, such as checkers, chess, matching or puzzle games. Other puzzle games, such as Sudoku and crosswords, are also challenging and can often be found in your local newspaper.

When researching games and apps online, look for activities that help extend short-term memory, listening, attention, language, logic, reaction time, hand-eye coordination, literacy, visual and special skills. Consider adding brain-training activities that apply to your daily life. For example:

  • Write a to-do list, then memorize it. 

  • Listen to a new song and write some lyrics. 

  • Draw a map of your house at the library. 

  • Looking for a new topic

Here are other ways to challenge your brain:

  • Change the way you do something. If you are right-handed and stir your coffee with that hand, try stirring with your left hand. 

  • Read an actual book. 

  • To learn a new language. 

  • Try a new job or hobby. 

  • Learn to play an instrument. 

  • Take a class at your local college or community center.

It is also important that you supplement your brain activity with a healthy lifestyle.

  • Maintain a healthy weight and eat healthy. 

  • Get active with exercise. 

  • No smoking. 

  • Limit alcohol intake. 

  • Get enough sleep. 

  • Do your best to avoid injury. 

  • Reduce your stress. 

  • Follow your doctor's orders to control your illness or condition. 

  • Focus on activities that promote your mental health. 

  • Maintain an active social life by regularly spending time with friends, volunteering or joining a club. 

Things To Consider

Brain training and lifestyle changes can be overwhelming. Don't try to change everything at once. Start slow by choosing a puzzle game. If you can add more, even better. If you get bored with the same game, choose another game to stay active. Don't abandon. Also change your daily routine. For example, if you always brush your teeth and then brush your hair, try reversing your routine. Do the same with your healthy lifestyle. Swap the fried food for the grilled version. Add five minutes to your exercise routine. Schedule your annual health check-ups and exams. See you with a friend.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that brain training and lifestyle changes will prevent all forms of dementia. It will not cure some forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease. However, you can improve dementia directly related to the disease (such as uncontrolled type 2 diabetes) by controlling the disease with medication and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Dementia can be difficult to detect on its own. Often it takes a family member or close friend to notice the changes. Unfortunately, there isn't enough evidence to determine the benefits and harms of dementia screening, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Certain medications and depression may be associated with memory loss.

It's important to note that depression in the elderly often looks like dementia to others, so supporting their mental health is essential.

When to see your doctor?

Don't worry about the occasional memory loss. It's normal. However, dementia-related memory loss gets worse over time and progresses at a faster rate. Signs that you or a loved one may have dementia include:

  • Loss of memory of recent events or information. This can be noticeable if you or a loved one repeats the same question over and over again and can't remember the answer. 

  • Forgetting how to perform familiar tasks, such as driving, cooking, or bathing

  • Language problems, such as not using words correctly

  • Not remembering how to get to a familiar place or how you got there

  • Poor judgment of simple things, such as wearing a different pair of shoes on each foot

  • Inability to think abstractly, such as understanding the purpose of money

  • Losing things and finding them in unfamiliar places, such as storing clothes in the refrigerator

  • Changes in mood and personality can turn a generally happy person into an angry and rude person, or a confident person into a fearful and suspicious person.


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