Body & Mind – II
Last week I started a series on how seniors can stay active mentally and maybe even slow down the inevitable progression of memory loss or dementia. I cannot overstate the importance of mobility, both physical and mental. All the research I encountered stressed this fact. These physical and mental exercises can help seniors retain their independence, but, I believe, and the research bears this out, the true path to mental independence is being stimulated mentally and connecting with other people. It is equally important to have fun! If it’s not enjoyable find something else to do. Today I am exploring the following activities: pursue a hobby, play a board game, and take a class.
Pursue a Hobby
The hobbies that first come to mind involve collecting. Examples include collecting stamps, coins, trains, fishing lures or any other object that interests you. Other hobbies include quilting or painting. These are just a few things you can pursue. For example, I know someone who connects snow globes. He currently has over one thousand of them in his home. The possibilities are limited only by your interests and imagination.
Play a Board Game
I grew up playing board games. These are great for playing in a group, memorizing numbers, and employing strategy. The games I recall playing include Clue, Monopoly, Pollyanna, and Stratego. Today I enjoy playing dominoes. Of course, I regret teaching my younger brother how to play fifty-two card pick up. Needless to say, these games can be not only fun but also quite competitive.
Take a Class
None of us will ever know everything. One of the things I regret not doing in college was taking more classes that were of interest to me. These days I enjoy taking classes in history, writing and learning more about computers. You can take classes online or at a local university or community college. Personally, I like the continuing education classes at the local university. The interactions of a traditional classroom seem to be, for me, more beneficial. Whichever venue you choose, there is always something to learn, be it history, pottery making, or computers.
I hope you are enjoying these articles and ideas as much as I enjoy writing them but let me state here that any activity I list is not to be blindly adopted. My suggestions are just that. The goal is to give seniors and their loved ones some ideas. You might choose something from my articles or something completely different. The important thing is to do something stimulating that connects with others. I hope you join me next week when I explore more ways seniors can stay mentally alert and more independent.