Cognitive Training For Older Adults

The graphic shows an older gentleman sitting at a table and training his mind by completing a block puzzle.

As you age, it’s normal to experience a certain amount of cognitive decline. However, studies have shown that when seniors engage in cognitive training, they can strengthen their cognitive skills and improve their brain’s function. By incorporating brain exercises into your daily routine, you can help improve your brain health, boost your cognitive performance, and fight off certain brain disorders. 

A Cognitive Connection understands how frustrating it can be to be in a battle with your mind. So, we’ve created programs and classes to help you better understand your brain’s performance and learn ways to improve your cognitive health. Keep on reading to find out why older adults must practice cognitive training. 

Cognitive Training Exercises

You can incorporate simple cognitive training exercises into your daily routine to help boost your cognitive abilities and improve your brain health. As you get older, it’s important to stimulate your mind and make sure you’re challenging your brain to process new information.

Think of it like this: We use physical exercise to strengthen our bodies and make sure we fight against aging. Mental activities are essential for the same reasons. You need to use mental exercises to keep your brain healthy and strong. Some easy brain exercises you can do include:

  1. Learning A New Language
    • Did you know that people who know two or more languages have greater mental flexibility and are less likely to develop certain brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease? In addition, it’s never too late to learn a new language, and doing so can help delay cognitive decline.
  2. Listening To Music
    • One of the easiest ways to improve your cognitive function is to listen to new music. Listening to unfamiliar music activates many areas of our brain, including those involved with emotion, memory, and physical activity. If you’re an artist or musician, you can also challenge yourself and your brain by learning a new instrument.
  3. Playing Games
    • Studies show that playing board games and card games improves our mental capabilities by activating our brains’ memory, visualization, and sequencing. 
  4. Travel
    • If you’re able to, traveling and exposing yourself to new surroundings is a great way to awaken your brain and improve your cognitive plasticity. You don’t have to travel far; simply going to a new park and immersing yourself in unfamiliar surroundings is a wonderful way to exercise your brain.
  5. Complete Word Puzzles
    • Puzzles such as Sudoku and crosswords can help improve your attention, reasoning, and long-term and short-term memory. Try a new puzzle every day and increase the difficulty level as time passes to challenge yourself.

The image shows an older woman completing a puzzle with her daughter to help improve her brain health.

Cognitive Training Exercises For Dementia

It’s crucial to integrate brain games into your routine to help fight off brain disorders, memory loss, anxiety, and much more. For example, one of the brain disorders that older adults are at risk of developing is dementia. The six brain exercises listed below are simple and effective ways to fight off dementia and improve your brain health if you have dementia.

  1. Brain Games
    • It’s essential to engage your brain to help strengthen your cognitive function. Incorporating brain games into your daily life will improve your mental capacity and memory storage capacity.
  2. Interactive Online Games
    • There are many games you can download designed for adults with dementia. These games are a fun and effective way to fight memory loss. Depending on what you prefer, there are various online video games to choose from, including picture games, card games, memory games, word games, and number games.
  3. Jigsaw Puzzles
    • Puzzles are one of the best ways to fight mild cognitive impairment and strengthen your brain’s health. 
  4. Chess
    • If you have a loved one with dementia, consider regularly playing chess with them to help slow down the effects of dementia. Chess engages both the logical and creative side of the brain, helping to stimulate brain function. Individuals with dementia who play chess have improved social interaction skills and reduced stress.
  5. Meditate
    • Daily meditation helps slow the effects of dementia and reduces the body’s stress hormones. In addition, meditation helps strengthen the brain’s grey matter, which dramatically improves the brain’s aging process. As a result, seniors who practice daily meditation are more active, focused, and positive. 
  6. Join A Book Club
    • Reading books helps keep your brain active, which is especially important for individuals with dementia. Book clubs are a great way to stimulate your brain, meet new friends, and engage in lively conversations. In addition, group activities such as book clubs help dementia patients improve both their communication skills and social skills.

The image shows a group of seniors in a book club discussing a book and looking very happy.

Ways To Improve Brain Health

Our brains are constantly changing, especially as we get older. One thing that healthy older adults have in common is exceptional brain health. As we age and our brains begin to change and develop, it’s essential to integrate brain training sessions into our routine to help our brains stay strong and healthy. There are several ways to improve one’s brain health that take little to no effort but have a huge payout.

  1. Try New Activities
    • Whether learning a new instrument or enjoying a new hobby, new activities help stimulate your brain and improve your cognitive abilities.
  2. Feed Your Brain
    • Make sure to incorporate healthy food into your diet and feed your brain the nutrients it needs to thrive.
  3. Move
    • Physical activity is one of the best ways to keep your brain active. Moving helps increase oxygen flow, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress, which are all critical parts of having a healthy brain.
  4. Sleep Well
    • While we sleep, our brains repair themselves. It’s important not to sleep too much, though, because this can lead to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
  5. Socialize
    • Did you know that older adults with a more active social life have a longer life expectancy and a reduced risk of developing dementia?
  6. Limit Alcohol Intake
    • Drinking in excess increases the risk of developing dementia.
  7. Manage Stress Levels
    • Unnecessary stress can decrease your cognitive skills and slow your brain’s processing speed. Try incorporating yoga, meditation, or daily walks into your routine to manage your stress levels. 
  8. Protect Your Head
    • Head injuries significantly increase the chances of developing a brain disorder. So make sure to protect your head and always wear a helmet when partaking in physical activities.

Boost Your Cognitive Performance With A Cognitive Connection

If you or a loved one is struggling to fight off the mental effects of aging, it can be overwhelming and frustrating to feel like your brain is weaker than before. With A Cognitive Connection, our team helps you learn simple and effective ways to improve your cognitive skills and boost your brain health.
Cognitive training is essential for adults as they begin to get older, especially those diagnosed with a brain disorder. If you’re struggling to incorporate brain training in to your routine and want to learn new ways to improve your brain health, contact A Cognitive Connection today!

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