Statistics indicate more than 63 percent of stroke survivors experience damage in areas of the brain that enable cognitive functions. The trauma created by strokes causes a number of issues involving attention, language, memory, and vision. Recovering from a stroke often requires physical therapy. However, cognitive exercises can also enhance function by stimulating neurons.
1. Playing Board Games
Chess, checkers, and Scrabble are all examples of games that stimulate the analytical and visual centers in the brain. Players must analyze the board and plan strategies to outwit their opponents. The games also require memory to remember how game pieces are moved or how to spell words correctly. Fine motor skills are enhanced when moving small game pieces throughout the game. Playing card games is also useful for memory, strategy, and visual stimulation.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful game-playing partner for a senior stroke survivor. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care services. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
Doing craft projects is another way to stimulate multiple centers in the brain. Something as simple as playing with modeling clay increases fine motor skills while stimulating the visual and problem-solving areas. Seniors might also consider drawing or painting. Drawing shapes on a piece of paper with a pencil enhances visual/spatial acuity. Coloring has grown in popularity for adults in recent years. As such, coloring books and pages are readily available and can be completed using crayons or colored markers.
3. Listening to Music
Scientists from Finland’s University of Jyväskylä discovered in 2015 that listening to music stimulates the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Brain activity intensifies when someone is playing a musical instrument. The activity is especially stronger in both hemispheres when the musician plays an instrument requiring the use of both hands. Consider playing your older loved one’s favorite music. Perhaps encourage learning how to play something as basic as a keyboard.
4. Exercising the Neurons with Neurobics
The term “neurobics” simply means exercising neurons, which encourages them to develop new pathways of communication. If able to do so, stroke survivors can use their nondominant hands when brushing their hair or teeth. They might also try writing with their opposite hands. This way, neurons are stimulated in the learning and memory regions of the brain.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Amarillo live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
5. Doing Puzzles
Attempting to complete a crossword puzzle is an effective means of stimulating memory and other cognitive functions. Sudoku is another type of puzzle that also proves useful for memory and strategy stimulation, and it requires filling squares in each grid with the numbers one through nine without duplicating numbers in the rows. Puzzles are readily available in daily papers, online, and in printed books.
Reading requires visual stimulation and memory for recalling the pronunciation and meaning of each word. A neuropsychiatrist from the Mayo Clinic named Dr. Yonas Geda found reading encourages brain plasticity, which entails stimulating neurons to become more active and form more lines of communication.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for a senior recovering from a stroke. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Amarillo at-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (806) 803-9991 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.