Caregiver in McLean VA
You’ve no doubt hear the expression “use it or lose it.” That phrase could be used to apply to many circumstances in life, including using our brain power.
If you’re the family caregiver for a loved one, or even if you have a professional agency providing senior care for them, but you still play an active role in their life, you may want to consider the benefits of them learning a new skill or hobby. You may even want to learn how to do something new with them. What a wonderful bonding experience that could be!
Keep their brain as active as possible can help ward off Alzheimer’s or other dementia and keep their brain finely-tuned and sharp as they progress through their senior years. If they already suffer from a form of dementia and are in the early stages, keeping the mind busy learning new things can help slow the disease’s progression down some.
We’re not talking about doing Sudoku or other types of puzzles (though those are good brain exercises, too). We’re talking about learning a brand new skill. Maybe it’s taking up gardening, or learning about and planting new things, if they’re already an avid gardener; perhaps it’s learning a new language or taking up birdwatching; it could be learning how to do oil painting or woodworking; even photography; you name it. Whatever it is, it should be something new.
Our brains benefit the most from a hobby or activity that is entirely new to us and uses different pathways in our brains that we normally use. One reason for that is because an older brain often has difficulty remembering things that were so second nature to it when it was younger, that no thought has to be given to doing something. Conversely, only those activities that are new and demanding are likely to keep the mind sharp into the senior years.
A study of 200 retired folks found that those who were taught a course where they learned something they’d never known or done before, had better memories after 12 weeks than those who were engaged in social events or things they’d done before.
So encourage your loved one to get involved in some new hobby or to learn a new skill—ideally something they’d be interested in; otherwise it won’t hold their interest. Not only would that not benefit them, you if you were doing it with them, you may end up learning the new skill all on your own, when the point was to learn something together.
At the end of the day, the better they take care of their brain power now, the better it will serve them later on.
If you or an aging loved one are considering CAREGIVER SERVICES IN MCLEAN, VA, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.