As family members grow older, it is crucial for them to exercise their minds as much as their bodies. Education is a fundamental process of life that does not stop when we’re at retirement age, and as there are many different learning styles, there are many ways to continue acquiring new knowledge. Lifelong learning is the pursuit of wisdom through continuing education. Older adults may seek education classes online, through local colleges, or other public communal spaces such as the library. On one’s own, they can also practice cognitive care exercises to keep themselves mentally active.
Lifelong learning opportunities are of growing popularity. With the increase of new students enrolling in college within the 65+ age range, colleges have opened up the opportunity for senior citizen scholarships and discounted learning programs for continuing education. Seniors have seen the benefits of education for the older mind. The National Institutes of Health discovered that learning new and difficult concepts are healthy for the brain and can increase memory care for those at risk of dementia.
To learn more about these new and exciting opportunities, get in touch with your community’s council or even local library. There are also online resources such as the Road Scholar program, and you can also check with your local colleges, both community colleges, and big-name universities.
Everyday cognitive care practices are also important, and there are many different options available. Studies show that the best way to exercise the brain is to partake in activities that engage all the different parts of the brain at once. Here are some excellent examples.
- Physical Activity
Good news, if you’re exercising regularly, you're also helping your mind. Exercise has proven to activate certain hormones during regular forms of exercise to help improve memory function. Aerobic fitness is some of the best of these activities.
- Creative Activities
Though often studied in children and young adults, participating in creative activities also promote innovation and motivation within older adults. These activities may include: such as art, music, writing, or other crafts. If you have a hobby from a young age or a musical instrument that your mother or father insisted on you playing, then picking it back up is a great way to flex those brain waves and keep your cognitive function pumping. Neuroscientists have found that music training can change how the brain reads sensory information.
- Mindful Meditation
Since the late 70's, studies have proven meditation in monks has a higher sense of cognitive function than that of a brain that does not. Now in 2013 a study done on those with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease have shown a decrease in progression over time. Though this study is still in its early stages, meditation has shown to have beneficial properties in people of all ages. You can also ask your local community council for places with meditation classes.
For more information on the studies mentioned and for more cognitive exercises, click here.
Learning is essential for all ages. The brain is like a muscle, and like all muscles in the body, the best way to keep it at peak performance is to work at it every day. Here at HarborChase Senior Living, we provide a collection of memory care services and exciting activities to get you and your brain up and moving.
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