Brain Stimulation and Dementia

Brain Stimulation and Dementia

July 21, 2021

For years, researchers in the medical community have discussed the impact mental stimulation can have on preventing dementia in older adults. But what if the dementia diagnosis has already come—can brain exercises still help? What type of these exercises should people with dementia be doing? Heather Glen Senior Living provides some answers to these questions and more suggestions on how you can help your loved one feel sharper, even with memory loss. 

Can brain stimulation help seniors with dementia?

Researchers have looked into whether exercising the brain can improve the thinking capacity of adults with dementia, or slow the rate of cognitive decline. Turns out, there is evidence that cognitive and functional decline in older people with dementia may be delayed by continued participation in mentally stimulating activities. 

Keeping your loved one engaged with their hobbies, interests and favorite activities should be a priority in every dementia care plan. It helps provide the structure and consistency they need to stay in high spirits while living with memory loss. As dementia progresses, mental stimulation and socialization become even more vital to their livelihood. 

Which brain exercises are best? 

While any form of mental stimulation is good for seniors, especially those with dementia, there are some specific exercises recommended by health professionals. 

For people in the early stage of memory loss, suggested brain activities often involve social interaction and physical movement as well. Reading, listening to the radio, playing musical instruments, practicing artistic hobbies like painting or drawing, playing board games, solving crossword or sudoku puzzles, and participation in light physical activities—like walking, gardening, or swimming—can all help combat the symptoms of early dementia. 

People in later stages of dementia will appreciate simpler mental exercises related to their own interests and at their level of ability. Recommended exercises include reading aloud from books, storytelling, imagery exercises, listening to music, and working through simple puzzles. Having your loved one participate in things they enjoy is extremely important for people with dementia—if you feel any of their interests or hobbies are becoming too challenging, try modifying them to their level or break it down into more manageable parts. Try not to stress them out, as this will only worsen symptoms and self-esteem. 

How can Heather Glen Senior Living help?  

Aside from being the premier senior living community in the greater Allentown area, Heather Glen Senior Living has an all-inclusive memory care community as well—specifically designed for adults living with early- to late-stage dementia. It’s designed with a homelike environment and includes a caring, 24-hour specialty trained staff to keep residents safe, happy, and engaged. Various group activities and scheduled enrichment programming provide the mental stimulation and socialization that people with dementia need.  

To learn more about Heather Glen’s memory care community or to schedule a tour with your loved one, contact us online or give us a call at (610) 841-4478. 

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