Cognitive Stimulation Exercises for Seniors

Cognitive stimulation involves applying a set of actions and activities that aim to maintain or even improve good cognitive functioning through certain exercises. It is an excellent alternative to enjoy fun activities that improve mental speed and flexibility. And that will then have a positive impact on the development of the daily activities of the elderly person.

How to improve cognitive function in elderly

Cognitive stimulation consists of the application of a set of activities that aim to maintain or even improve good cognitive functioning through certain exercises.

Delaying the deterioration of abilities and skills effectively promotes active ageing. In this sense, cognitive stimulation through activities and exercises will promote mental health and emotional and physical independence of the elderly person.

It will also help people who have a neurodegenerative disease, no matter what stage of adulthood they are in, to prevent or slow down the ageing process thus leading to a better quality of life.

What are the symptoms of cognitive impairment?

Cognitive impairment in older adults manifests itself through the following symptoms:

Loss of short and long-term memory.

Alteration in the ability to reason.

Aphasia or loss of vocabulary.

Apraxia or lack of coordination in the muscles involved in phonation.

Loss of spatial ability.

Changes in character, which are often sudden.

What are some examples of cognitive activities and games

To try and prevent the different types of cognitive impairment in elderly, many activities for the elderly have come up and even brain games just to entertain and keep them active. The following activities and games are some ways of how to entertain an elderly person with dementia.

Dementia Activities for the elderly

Workshops and classes

On the one hand, there are workshops, classes and programs designed specifically for older adults, where activities and exercises are carried out with other people who are going through the same condition. Feeling accompanied is essential in this process, so taking part in this type of activity with other people going through the same thing, will be the most profitable way to achieve improvements in cognitive impairment.

Reading and writing

Reading and writing is the most classic way to achieve cognitive stimulation. The objective of this exercise is for the elderly person to carry out different reading and writing activities every day to generate a habit and stimulate their mind through the different exercises proposed.

Sensory activities

The sensory activities are designed to work with the senses, and they are very much recommended. Among them is listening and sound recognition, such as listening to melodies and sounds, and then trying to make them coincide. This will improve hearing abilities. Another sensory activity to take part in is working with images, involving the use of objects and shapes, among others.

Artistic activities

These activities stimulate a very important part, and in addition to promoting the development of positive self-esteem in the elderly, it frees them from stress. To do this, one can start by copying drawings and even creating works with different colours and textures, using coloured pencils and finger paints. Another good idea to work with memory is to make a personal photo album where the stories of each moment are included.

Fine motor skills

In many situations, cognitive stimulation begins with the stimulation of fine motor skills, specifically for patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. These exercises can delay the onset of motor problems such as tremors, stiffness, or slow movement.

Another way to achieve cognitive stimulation in later life is to allow older adults to help with simple household tasks. These types of activities make the elderly person feel useful, improving their self-esteem, plus they also require paying attention to perform the task well.

Language and arithmetic

Examples of activities that the caregiver can carry out to work in the areas of language and arithmetic are word searches, Sudoku, relating concepts from the same lexical family, discovering repeated words in a word list or doing crosswords.

Games for elderly

Orientation games

To improve attention and the sense of orientation, there are memory games for adults that involve matching two identical images are ideal, remembering the position of the images after having seen them only once, connecting the dots to reveal a hidden drawing, map activities to find out how to get to a site using simple instructions, etc.

Table games

Board games that involve reasoning. Some of these brain games for seniors include games such as chess, checkers and cards, not only help the neuropsychology of the adult but also help with socialisation.

The involvement of caregivers and family members will be of vital importance. And without a doubt, the optimism of the caregiver or loved one when performing the exercises with the elderly will light the way to achieve positive results and improve their cognitive state to enjoy it with their loved ones.

Undoubtedly, therapy based on cognitive stimulation is especially helpful for older people who are going through a normal ageing process, even without any type of dementia or memory loss caused by a degenerative disease. Thus, this therapy is widely recognised for preserving intellectual functions in the best possible conditions, so from Cuidum, we recommend putting them into practice to improve the quality of life of your loved ones.

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