Talking to others, getting out and about, sharing experiences—these types of social interactions can not only enrich our lives, they can also engage our brains.
Socializing typically correlates to being part of a more stimulating environment and participating in more leisure, physical and mental activities.
The relationship of leisure activities or social interactions to diminished risk for dementia suggests several mechanisms at work, including reduced stress and enhanced intellectual stimulation. These social ties may help protect the brain by building up a cognitive reserve to compensate for lost brain cells or connections.
Here are some ideas on how to get your loved one started:
Make physical exercise a group exercise.
Taking a daily walk is good for your body and brain, and taking a walk with a friend may compound your loved one’s sense of well-being. It is much easier to get your daily exercise if you do something you enjoy with someone you enjoy.
Put multiple minds together for brain aerobics.
Doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku is generally a solitary effort, but lots of brain-building activities can be done with others. Board games like Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly, for example, are fun precisely because they involve combining the power of multiple minds.
Share a meal.
Eating a healthy diet is important, and, yet, perhaps the greatest aid to digestion is the company of others.
Join an online group.
If it’s difficult to get out and about because you live in a rural area or your loved one has seriously medical problems, the virtual world can open endless new opportunities.
Be a friend.
Many people need the non-judgmental listening that best friends can provide. Lend your ear to old and new friends alike.
It’s possible to overcome your own troubles by helping others with their problems. Volunteer for a cause your loved one believes in.
Adult Day Care.
Many communities offer adult day care, which puts people around the same age group into social situations with one another. This can be highly stimulating and fulfilling to your loved one.
Socialization gives us a sense of belonging, of being part of a community—even if it’s a community of only three or four people. With community comes confidence: With confidence comes self-esteem and an increased sense of well-being. But the greatest benefit of socialization is that people who share experiences are much more likely to laugh together, and laughter may be the best boost to longevity we have.
To contact us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
Please call us at (561) 588-4545. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!