When we think of being healthy, we have this idea of an excellent diet filled with vegetables, key nutrients and a hectic physical workout regime. However, a lot of people often overlook mental health. Being mentally healthy is a key factor in maintaining happiness and living longer. As we get older, our brain starts to lose some of its quick memory recall and overall functioning speed which can really affect some people.
However, with these simple mind exercises and memory games, your elderly loved one’s memory and overall brain power can be maintained and even improved. Which one of these is your favourite to do?
Crossword puzzles are an easily accessible mind exercise for your elderly loved one. Daily crossword puzzles are available in national newspapers or magazines. Crosswords are perfect for exercising the brain, even if it just for 15-30 minutes.
This activity is easy to access and super rewarding when completed. If your loved one struggles with arthritis, make sure that you sit with them and write down their answers on their behalf.
The best thing about this mind exercise is that you can go and do it right now!
If words aren’t a strong point for your elderly loved one or friend, try a sudoku. Typically, a 9×9 grid, you can find smaller versions to keep it simpler. Similar to crosswords, but using numbers, these usually feature in daily newspapers and are very accessible. If your loved one is extremely fond of them, you can buy them a sudoku book filled with them.
Mathematics is excellent for the brain as it really exercises the left side of the brain which is responsible for logic and knowledge. If this is kept healthy, your loved one will truly reap the benefits.
Pick up a Musical Instrument
Not only is learning a musical instrument fun, but it is also one of the best mind exercises out there. Learning the piano, picking up a guitar or maybe a trumpet. Learning new chords and notes or even songs can aid in memory retention and of course it is different from the daily routine!
Starting off with one instrument may lead to further musical interest. Learning the guitar may lead to the ukulele. Learning a trumpet may lead to a trombone, flute or even a tuba!
Encouraging your elderly relative or loved one to partake in such a brain stimulating activity could be extremely beneficial for them further down the line.
Picture Based Card Games
A simple memory card game is The Picture Game. Lay down a set of picture cards, face down of course, and simply find the matching pairs by turning over the cards. It is such an easy game to get a hold of and the improvements in your elderly loved one’s memory will be evident.
By playing this game once a day, you will be helping your senior relative more than you will ever know.
Other Helpful Memory Activities
If you are looking for any cheaper alternatives to aid in your relative’s memory, try some of the following ideas:
- Counting Backwards – Ask your relative to start counting backwards from 300. To make it more challenging, ask them to count backwards but subtract 4 each time they do.
- Opposite Day – Try carrying out everyday tasks with the opposite hand from which they normally do them. Do they brush their teeth with their right hand? Try using the left hand instead once a week.
- Memory Map Drawing – When you visit a new area with your relative, ask them to draw a map to and from their residence. Even if it is just the route to begin with, this can be escalated to include other features such as landmark buildings, green areas and other places of significance on the route.
Keeping a Healthy Mind
Giving your elderly loved one a healthy mind is something that will help them maintain a better quality of life as they get older. Simple exercise and games such as the ones mentioned in this article can really go a long way. Try them today and start noticing the difference immediately.