While everyone knows the benefits of staying in shape as we age, one thing that is often underestimated is mental health. As we age it is wise to keep the brain in shape the same way as we keep our bodies in shape. A study by the National Center for Creative Aging has found that there are “Four Dimensions of Brain Health” that can help seniors stay mentally active in long term care facilities. These are diet and nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being.
As technology grows, long term care facilities and other senior organizations have found that there are a variety of new ways to help their residents stay active mentally. Besides the endless number of online “brain games” and puzzles, seniors are finding a variety of ways to keep mentally active. Here are some of the ways that they are keeping mentally active.
Better Nutrition: More and more seniors are supplementing their daily diet with vitamins that help them stay mentally and physically active. Items such as fish oil, which includes DHA omega-3, and vitamin E are just a few of the most common “brain supplements” around. All of these supplements are meant to supply vitamins and minerals that the senior is missing in their daily diet and that are essential to better mental health.
Physical Activity: Studies have shown that 30 minutes of daily physical activity not only improves the body, but also the mind. Physical fitness classes, walking groups and sports teams are just a few of the many things that nursing homes and long term care facilities are adding to their programs to help their residents stay in shape. More and more seniors are looking into weight training and cardiovascular fitness as a way to stay in shape.
Mental Activities: One thing that is often underestimated is the amount of exercise that one can get on their brain. Recent studies have shown that brain cells, much like muscle cells, can be stimulated by working on new skills and interests that involve thinking and memory. Besides this, many facilities offer skill games on a regular basis to help their residents stay mentally active throughout the week.
Socializing: While being on a computer looking up social media sites may not seem very stimulating, social media and Internet use involve reading and typing which help keep up brain stimulation. Instant Messaging, Twitter and Facebook are just a few of the many new ways that seniors can stay mentally active online. Besides using the computer, traditional style chess clubs and gardening groups are just a few of the many social clubs that LTC facilities are starting to use to keep seniors mentally active as they interact with their peers.
Technology: Being SeniorTV’s specialty, technology has really changed the way that the senior lifestyle has become inside a residential environment. Now, more than ever, have seniors had the opportunity to not only have state of the art technology such as smartphones, Internet and a wide variety of TV, but able to use the technology to keep a healthy mind. The wide variety of today’s cable TV shows not only provides entertainment, but also a large selection of shows that educate viewers.