Years of scientific research provides a better understanding of brain function and neuron communication. Stimulating different areas of the brain has proven effective in creating and strengthening new pathways between neurons. Memory retrieval is particularly important in older adults with dementia. Using brain stimulation techniques triggers memories, which is rewarding for seniors and caregivers alike. There are a variety of methods family members can try to stimulate the brain to remember.
1. Engage Them in Creative Activities
Coloring, drawing, and painting enables seniors with dementia to express themselves while triggering the memory. Creative activity is known to stimulate the areas of the brain that regulate memory, visual, physical, and problem-solving regions. Playing musical instruments is another creative option. When the brain is observed while creating music, all areas of the brain become active and neuron transmission increases dramatically. The stimulation also continues for up to 12 hours after the event.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a New Hampshire home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
2. Suggest Maintaining a Garden
Many seniors lack sufficient quantities of vitamin D, which may affect memory. Sun exposure can correct the problem because the warm rays of daylight encourage vitamin D production in the body. The tasks required to plan, plant, and maintain a garden encourage the brain to remember various factual aspects associated with the activity. If older adults enjoyed gardening when they were younger, the task is also bound to bring a variety of memories to the surface related to those earlier years.
3. Encourage Exercise
Physical activity increases blood flow, which in turn delivers vital oxygen and nutrients to the brain for optimal function. Exercise also reduces the amount of cortisol and sugar in the blood that contribute to inflammation and neuron damage. The benefits of exercise can reinforce memories and bring them to the surface. Familiar exercise movements or activities can also help seniors remember moments from the past.
Older adults who need help engaging in physical activities should consider hiring a professional caregiver. New Hampshire senior care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
4. Include Them in Baking or Cooking
Families commonly spent time in the kitchen over the years preparing and enjoying meals together. Thus, taking a senior with dementia to the kitchen to assist with baking or cooking is likely to stir memories from the past. The activity itself may also stimulate a memory of baking traditional treats or favorite dishes. Seniors with dementia may remember how to follow a specific recipe step by step to completion.
5. Promote Socialization
Socializing with peers or family members triggers many centers in the brain that include memory. If a senior recognizes a familiar face, he or she is bound to engage in a conversation that could lead to sharing memories. Spending time with grandchildren often sparks memories of their grown children when they were young. Family caregivers can encourage memory retrieval by sharing fond moments from their loved one’s youth. Older adults might also have the opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge with youngsters based on their memories of different skills or favorite pastimes.
Caring for an older adult with dementia can be challenging. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in New Hampshire, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. To learn more about our comprehensive in-home care plans, call us at (603) 471-3004.