There is an abundance of conversation about physical activity in assisted living and memory care communities. However, mental stimulation can be equally, if not more, important to encourage when treating the 65 and older population. From activities such as trivia to teaching older adults how to use modern technology, there are a plethora of opportunities to engage the aging population through mental stimulation.
It’s Easy to Do.
Creating a mentally stimulating environment for the older population is not as hard as you might think. In fact, according to MindHow, engaging seniors on a mental level can be as simple as crossword puzzles, gardening, or incorporating therapy programs such as music or painting. Not only are these activities good for engaging the mind, but they are also proven to be good for the body and soul. To learn more about the benefits of these therapeutic programs for the elderly population, click here.
It Keeps Them Connected
As individuals get older, there is a natural tendency to stick with what you’re comfortable with. However, the world around them is growing and evolving, especially with the recent technology revolution. Our Director of Recreational Services in Spring Hills Mount Vernon, Zuleyma Montoya, understands the importance of keeping seniors mentally engaged in the world outside of their senior care community. She discussed the recent introduction of Amazon’s Alexa to her residents by saying, “At Spring Hills, we love to find innovative new ways to reach and engage our residents. The way their faces light up when they get the opportunity to learn something new is priceless. We introduced them to Alexa and they caught on very quickly and now they love asking her about the news or to tell them a funny joke.”
The Health Benefits are Evident
A common misconception is that mental health is less important than the physical health of an older adult. However, the opposite is usually true and the importance of a solid mental health foundation has been widely documented. A peer-reviewed publication on Empowher notes, “Human vitality is so much more than just the body. When both body and mind are connected, encouraged and stimulated, old age can be a wonderful stage of life.”
Learning a New Skill Fosters Mental Stimulation
You’re never too old to learn a new skill. Not only does learning a new skill elevate the senses of accomplishment and curiosity, it has also been proved to have longstanding health benefits for the elderly population. A study referenced by the National Institute on Aging found, “Older adults who learned quilting or digital photography had more memory improvement than those who only socialized or did less cognitively demanding activities.” It really does pay to learn something new everyday!