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Debunking Brain Health Myths

By , 4:10 pm on

Research has shown that playing games, puzzles and socializing all translate to preventative measures for decline in brain health. In fact, not only does this help improve the quality of life for someone with dementia, but healthy adults actually improve in their mental function when they engage in playing games, puzzles and socializing.

Myth #1: Cognitive Health in the Aging Population is Hopeless

No!There are many enjoyable activities people can do to maintain their brain health.

In 2012, a study in Britain came out stating that people with dementia had improved quality of life, and better thinking and memory function after being engaged in cognitive activities. In this particular study, word games, puzzles, reminiscence, and baking or gardening were used.

A different study in 2012, states that for healthy older adults their cognition improved after regularly engaging in activities such as reading, socializing, and playing cards or board games. These two studies point away from the misconception that the aging population cannot have cognitive health.

Enjoy life! Play games and puzzles with friends and family! Might I recommend Scrabble, Monopoly, Qwirkle, bridge, Crossword Puzzles or Sudoku?

Myth #2: What I Do Now Will Not Affect My Future Brain Health& Functioning

Absolutely, what you do now will affect your cognitive and physical functioning in the long term.

Your brain health will affect your functioning. A longitudinal study was done several years back with nuns who live a mentally stimulating lifestyle. Autopsies of their brains showed that the plaques and tangles that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease were present, but prior to death they had showed no symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. When they were still living they scored well on their mental and physical tests.

Throughout life, participate in life with games, conversation and lifelong learning. On a daily basis, engage yourself in growth and fun!

Myth #3: Once a Person Has Dementia there is No Means to Improving Their Quality of Life

Though life may look a little different for a person with dementia, their life and how the people around them approach it matters. Their quality of life can improve.

A study was done with people suffering with dementia (low to moderate), in which something called “cognitive stimulation” was done with participants. This process includes discussion of past and present events and topics of interest, word games, puzzles, music and baking. Results indicated that people with dementia were interacting and communicating better with others; as well as having reported a better quality of life.

Be filled with hope, and have faith in the person with dementia. What they do on a daily basis can help their quality of life!

Home Care Ass-istance of Nebraska strives to provide the highest quality care to our clients. Our Care Managers are degreed professionals, who create a comprehensive and personalized plan of care for each client, after conferring with doctors, family, and the client.  They train and supervise a consistent care team assigned to each client. Our Care Managers are personally responsible for, and work to ensure, client and family satisfaction.  Call us today, in Omaha: 402-763-9140; in Lincoln: 402-261-5158.

Photo credit: Optimal Brain Function, by Tony Unruh. (Tony’s note: This is on the side of my dog’s (Jack) food bag.)


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