As we head into the final months of 2013, the average life span continues to lengthen across the United States, and the world. Today, senior adults are living longer than ever before, and it’s becoming increasing clear that our bodies, as well as our brains are amazingly resilient and adaptive.
At Omaha Home Care Assistance, our approach to care revolves around total health. While eating well and exercising regularly is crucial to maintaining overall health with age, we recognize that mental health plays a large role as well. In fact, there is accumulating evidence supporting the fact that as we get older, our brains like to work! But what exactly does this work entail?
Studies have shown that challenging our minds, learning about new things and thinking about new subjects helps the brain create new synapses, or connections between neurons. As seniors create more synapses, they create a denser web of connections, which can be positively associated with maintaining cognitive health in older age.
Keeping the idea of newness in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 ways in which seniors can stay young mentally:
Learn a new language
By doing so, seniors expose their brains to a great workout, forcing it to create new pathways in order to learn. If you’re not interested in a language, consider taking a class through your local college or community center. Adapting to surroundings and individuals while learning all contribute to better cognitive health.
1. Pick up an instrument
Not only does learning a new instrument provide a few physical benefits, reading sheet music, following the notes and even singing along help strengthen the brain. Learning to create music has also been found to unlock memories and feelings of the past, something that is beneficial for seniors who require dementia care in Omaha.
2. Get lost (on purpose)
We don’t mean for seniors to travel to unfamiliar cities, putting their safety in danger. However, visiting a museum for the first time or even going to an unfamiliar grocery store makes you push your limits to navigate your new surroundings. Once seniors realize they have the skills to navigate new places they boost their confidence as well!
3. Step out of your comfort zone
When you only do things you are comfortable with, you stop learning. It is great for seniors to accept the feeling of being a bit uncomfortable. This opens the door to a variety of new experiences and learning opportunities.
4. Embrace new technology
Some older adults would rather skip the hassles of new technology, as the new contraptions can seem unnecessary. However, embracing the technology that engulfs our world today can have huge brain-benefits for seniors. And, seniors can use technology to learn and connect with their friends, children and grandchildren.
Have other questions about senior health? Contact us today and learn how our expert Omaha caregivers promote mental and physical health for our senior clients or schedule a free, no-risk home care consultation.