5 Creative Pursuits that May Ward Off Alzheimer’s

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Creative Activities that Keep Alzheimer's Disease at Bay in Harrisburg, Pa

Activities that channel creativity have several merits. While highly gratifying, these pursuits also energize the mind. A finished product elicits pride. Fulfillment, brain engagement, and self-regard all reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a type of memory loss that often precedes Alzheimer’s disease. A 2015 Mayo Clinic study evaluated the effects of creative activities on developing MCI. Study participants included 256 women and men aged 85 and older. 

The researchers found MCI risk was 73 percent lower in subjects who regularly engaged in creative hobbies, such as sculpting, painting, ceramics, and quilting. The study showed inventive tasks protect the brain from deterioration. 

Here are five creative endeavors that can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

1. Cooking

When seniors follow recipes, they use their minds to plan their cooking activities. Then they organize needed ingredients, utensils, and equipment. The brain coordinates hand-eye movements to prepare the food. Your senior loved one employs short-term memory when he or she remembers to stop cooking at the right time. Removing food from a container or pot involves visual-spatial awareness. Every stage of cooking requires concentration. 

Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. Families trust Harrisburg Home Care to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

2. Painting

When your loved one paints, he or she translates ideas into a visual form and uses judgment to choose different brush strokes. Selecting paint colors involves decision-making, and envisioning images spurs the production of new neurons. Dexterity and coordination tap into five regions of the brain: the prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, basal ganglia, parietal lobe, and cerebellum. 

3. Needlework

Stress increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Repetitive stitching can relieve stress, reduce tension, and prevent anxiety. Needlework can affect your loved one’s brain uniquely, giving his or her mind a rest.

Focusing on tasks such as knitting or crocheting may put your loved one in a calm, meditative state. Meanwhile, hand-eye coordination prompts the brain to build new neural networks. Needlework that involves socialization, such as quilting, further protects mental function.

Some seniors need a helping hand with daily activities. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Harrisburg respite care experts at Harrisburg Home Care are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

4. Keeping a Collection

When seniors maintain collections, they use their minds to select, compare, and organize objects. When acquiring new items, they discover fascinating details about them. When deciding whether to include an article in their inventory, they exercise judgment and decision-making. Over time, they hone the skills necessary for observation, making distinctions, and recognizing patterns. 

Collecting items expands the mind and sparks curiosity about related topics. For example, by collecting coins, your loved one learns about minting. By joining a collectors’ club, your loved one can expand his or her social circle. 

5. Scrapbooking

When your loved one records his or her life in pictures, text, and personal artifacts, the activity may summon fond memories. Reminiscing helps the brain form new neural connections. Being able to remember past events instills pride and self-worth. When done with family members and friends, scrapbooking encourages socialization. 

Your loved one uses motor skills while sorting pictures, pasting objects, and writing captions. Sequentially adding photos creates a timeline, giving order to remembrance. Your loved one can connect with his or her history as well as recent events.

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Harrisburg Home Care is a leading Harrisburg at-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. To create a customized care plan for your loved one, call us at (717) 200-7406 today. 


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