As people are living longer, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is increasing. Senior care facilities can help their residents stave off this illness by keeping residents mentally stimulated. Simple crossword puzzles and games can be a key tool in this endeavor.
According to a recent University of California-Berkley study, mentally challenging activities such as reading and solving puzzles help the brain resist forming beta-amyloid proteins, or Alzheimer’s plaque, as they’re commonly referred to.
Researchers studied the brains of older adults who had no symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The study found that seniors who had a long history of engaging in mentally stimulating activity, and who stay busy reading and engaging in solving puzzles, were found to have developed fewer of the beta-amyloid proteins than less active seniors.
Length of activity seems to be the key to staving off Alzheimer’s. Seniors who began stimulating brain activity early in life were found to have less plaque than those who did not start until they were older. Nevertheless, even seniors who started exercising their brains at a later age still had less memory-destroying plaque than those who did no exercises at all.
The key takeaway from this for elder care providers in assisted living or home care is to make puzzles and crosswords widely available, and to encourage their use. By keeping seniors challenged, you can keep their minds sharp.
Always Best Care offers in-home care, as well as assisted living and Alzheimer’s/dementia care, all over the nation. Call us to find out more about our services at 1-855-470-2273.