Want to keep your memory muscles strong? These top 5 brain exercises to combat dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease can help you stay mentally active while enjoying what San Francisco has to offer! From taking care of our own loved ones to watching the struggles of our friends and colleagues, we’ve all been touched by the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease in one way or another. The most common form of dementia, its reach extends far beyond the patient, putting an overwhelming a amount of pressure on caretakers and instantly changing family dynamics, so doing what we can to keep our brains healthy is very important.
While the fight against Alzheimer’s continues in research centers all over the world, it’s up to us to take control on a smaller scale by combating the disease in our own homes. Just like our bodies, our brains need to be challenged to stay strong and alert as we grow older. Whether you want to slow down the progression of symptoms in an elderly relative or need to decrease your own risk of developing Alzheimer’s, the brain-boosting exercises below can help.
1. Memory Test – To flex your memory muscle, come up with a list – groceries, dates or colors – and try to memorize it. Come back to the game an hour later to see if you can recall every item on your list in the order it was written. If you’re having a hard time with an hour, start with 15 minutes and work your way up.
2. Map Making – Next time you visit a new town, pay attention to streets and landmarks. When you return home, recreate the area on paper as best as you can. While linear list tests are aimed specifically at memory, drawing a map improves both your ability to recall details in your surroundings and your sense of direction. San Francisco and its surrounding counties have incredible spots to visit that can inspire you to get on your map making!
3. Math Class – Although we may disagree, our brains happen to love math. It makes them stronger, quicker and more flexible. If math class is just a distant memory, pick up a workbook to shift your brain back into high gear. When you’re feeling confident, up the intensity by creating and solving problems in your head while running errands.
4. Back to School – Speaking of math class, if you have the time, signing up for a class in a subject you’re interested in can go a long way toward refreshing an aging brain. For affordable courses that work for your schedule, try San Francisco’s local community colleges and night schools. If you’re craving a challenge, try a foreign language program.
5. Learn a New Hobby – Activities that engage both your eyes and hands strengthen your brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of your body. Knitting, painting, solving puzzles, learning musical instruments and cooking are all great examples of fun hobbies that double as effective brain exercises. San Francisco offers a myriad of classes to choose from — from free lessons from fellow hobbyists to paid private lessons of your choosing!
Providence Place focuses on making each day enjoyable by providing therapeutic enrichment programs that focus on compensating for lost skills and nourishing the ones that are still intact. These activities promote communication and revives the senses to raise cognition, and builds awareness.