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5 Unconventional Ways to Reduce a Senior’s Risk of Dementia

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

There are many ways older adults can reduce their risk of dementia, but not every method will work for every senior. Sometimes it’s a good idea to think outside the box and come up with some unconventional strategies. Oakville dementia care professionals suggest some unique ways to help your senior loved one reduce his or her risk of dementia. 

1. Take Naps in the Sun 

Sleep has the power to impact how your loved one thinks, feels, and remembers. All three of these actions are necessary to maintain brain function and prevent dementia. Your loved one needs just a little bit of vitamin D from the sun to activate the cellular signaling responsible for clearing up the plaque buildup in his or her brain. Make sure your loved one wears sunblock and other sun protection if he or she will be taking an extended nap.

2. Attend Salsa and Tango Dancing Classes 

These unique forms of dancing can help your loved one take advantage of his or her brain’s neuroplasticity. As your loved one ages, his or her brain cells will begin to die off, which blocks the neural pathway of stored information. However, by participating in salsa and tango dancing, your loved one can forge new neural pathways due to the rapid decision making and improvising he or she will need to do.

3. Create Edible Art

Allow your loved one to practice making edible art. He or she can begin with fruits and vegetables, which are essential to reducing the risk of dementia. Fisetin is a compound found in many fruits and vegetables that helps slow cognitive decline. Your loved one can create various things, including edible flower arrangements, which are not only beautiful, but quite tasty.

4. Make a Weekly Social Calendar

Create new, fun social activities your loved one can do everyday. Be sure to change the calendar up so your loved one does not get bored, though it is fine to repeat some of the activities, especially if he or she enjoys doing them. The purpose of a weekly social calendar is to keep your loved one’s mind engaged, health in good shape, and risk of dementia reduced. Increased social and mental stimulation is necessary to protect the brain and prevent cognitive decline. 

Here are some examples of weekly social ideas your loved one can try out:

  • Move and Groove Mondays – Swimming, running errands, exercise groups, or anything else that promotes physical activity 
  • Travel Tuesdays – Choose a different location each week to promote socialization
  • Fruit Juice Fridays – Try out new juices with ingredients that prevent the loss of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that promotes brain health and good memory 
  • Scavenger Hunt Saturdays – Choose a new location and theme each week to keep your loved one’s brain active 
  • Sleep-In Sundays – Adequate sleep is necessary to clear the brain of toxins that cause dementia 

5. Write a Memoir 

Creative writing is a unique way for seniors to stave off dementia, but many are afraid of the challenge. When your loved one decides to write a memoir, he or she is engaging in a mentally stimulating activity that is both fun and therapeutic. Your loved one can write about his or her childhood, young adulthood, and other important moments or events during his or her life. This activity not only helps boost memory and keep the brain active, but it also allows your loved one to share stories with other family members and friends.

If you’re unfamiliar with Home Care Assistance’s proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), this program is another unique way to stave off dementia. CTM uses activities to keep seniors mentally engaged and help them build new routines to look forward to. For more information on CTM and the elder care Oakville families trust, call (905) 337-1200 today.