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5 Creative Activities That Keep Alzheimer’s Disease at Bay

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Activities that channel creativity have several merits. While highly gratifying, these pursuits also vitalize the mind. A finished product elicits pride. Fulfillment, brain engagement, and self-regard all reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a type of memory loss that often precedes Alzheimer’s disease. A 2015 Mayo Clinic study evaluated the effects of creative activities on developing MCI. Study participants were 256 women and men, age 85 and older. 

The researchers found that MCI risk was 73 percent lower in subjects who regularly engaged in creative hobbies such as sculpting, painting, ceramics, and quilting. The study showed that inventive tasks protect the brain from deterioration.

Here are five creative endeavors that can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

1. Cooking

When seniors follow a recipe, they use their minds to plan the activity. Then, they organize needed ingredients, utensils, and equipment. The brain coordinates hand-eye movements to prepare the food.

Your loved one employs short-term memory when he or she remembers to stop cooking at the right time. Removing food from a container or pot involves visual-spatial awareness. Every stage of cooking requires concentration.

Some seniors need help with cooking and managing other daily tasks. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Naples, FL, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

2. Painting

When your loved one paints, he or she translates ideas into a visual form and uses discernment to choose different brush strokes. Selecting paint colors involves decision-making, and envisioning images spurs the production of new neurons. Dexterity and coordination tap into five regions of your loved one’s brain, namely the prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, basal ganglia, parietal lobe, and cerebellum.

3. Needlework

Stress increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Repetitive stitching can relieve stress, reduce tension, and prevent anxiety. Needlework can affect your loved one’s brain uniquely, giving his or her mind a rest. 

Focusing on tasks such as knitting or crocheting may put your loved one in a calm, meditative state. Meanwhile, hand-eye coordination prompts his or her brain to build new neural networks. Needlework that involves socialization, such as quilting, further protects mental function. 

Some seniors need a helping hand with daily activities. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Naples respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

4. Keeping a Collection

When seniors maintain collections, they use their minds to select, compare, and organize objects. While acquiring new items, they discover fascinating details about them. When deciding whether to include an article in their inventory, they exercise judgment and decision-making. Over time, they hone the skills of observation, making distinctions, and recognizing patterns. 

Collecting items expands the mind and sparks curiosity about related topics. For example, by collecting coins your loved one learns about minting. By joining a collectors’ club, your loved one can expand his or her social circle.

While comparing objects and moving his or her eyes from side to side for 30 seconds, your loved one’s memory is sharpened. Horizontal eye motion engages communication between the right and left brain hemispheres, a function involved in recall.

A 2008 study conducted at England’s Manchester Metropolitan University found that 30 seconds of eye-shifting movements strengthen memory by 10 percent. The study was featured in Brain and Cognition.

5. Scrapbooking

When your loved one records his or her life in pictures, text, and personal artifacts, the activity may summon fond memories. Reminiscing helps the brain form new neural connections. Being able to remember past events instills pride and self-worth. When done with family members and friends, scrapbooking encourages socialization.

Your loved one uses motor skills while sorting pictures, pasting objects, and writing captions. Sequentially adding photos creates a timeline, giving order to remembrance. Your loved one can connect with his or her history as well as recent events. 

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Naples, FL, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. If your aging loved one wants to age in the comfort of home, call Home Care Assistance at (239) 449-4701 today.

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