Mental Stimulation Tips by Larkspur at Creekside 

The majority of American adults are concerned about cognitive decline. Dementia remains a disease without a cure. However, there are mental exercises that play a key role in preventing the decline of cognitive abilities. Here are some tips for active adults concerned with maintaining their mental sharpness!

Brain Games

There are many benefits of staying physically fit. Scientists are also learning that staying mentally fit is equally important. Crossword puzzles and other brain games are two mental exercises that could keep Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia at bay.

Puzzles and games bring benefits, however scientists are finding that brain wellness is linked to other forms of wellness which requires more than the simple types of mental exercises and games that have traditionally been recommended.

Brain Health is Linked to Overall Wellness

For brain wellness, what seems to work the best is multidisciplinary approaches to health that are inclusive of mental fitness, physical fitness and social stimulation. Scientists recommend that active adults prioritize being

  •  Aerobically Active: Physical fitness keeps blood flowing to the brain, which helps form those all-important neural connections that aid memory and cognition. 
  • Socially Involved: The spontaneity of interacting with people engages the brain in different ways. Socializing challenges certain skills that we don’t use when we’re alone. One popular way for seniors to experience this mental stimulation is to take classes.

The Brain Benefits from Classes

Scientists have found that learning new things helps improve cognitive functioning. Activities like taking classes are a much better way to spend your time, compared to brain games.

For these types of classes to have a positive effect, it’s important they follow a three-part model: 

  1. Science-based. Class methodology should be based on science, which says wellness-based programs are better for the brain than games and puzzles. 
  2. Social. The social aspect of classroom activities is key. 
  3. Experiential. People get more out of a class when they’re experiencing what they’re learning. 

When classes teach the “why” behind the “what,” there are added benefits. For example,if a group takes a class on nutrition and adopt a healthy diet such as the Mediterranean Diet it helps to teach the science behind that diet rather than simply memorizing what they should or shouldn’t eat.

Other ideas for classes that can provide mental stimulation include: 

  • Language: Language is social, so the best way to learn and stimulate your brain is to take a language class.
  • Art: Creative projects like painting or pottery are some of the best types of mental exercises, especially in a social setting. 
  • Learn from nature: Bird watching is a good activity because it involves almost every aspect of wellness: social, physical, and intellectual. 
  • Teach a class. No doubt you have a lot to offer! Teaching a class can help put your professional knowledge to good use, and it keeps the brain active. 

At Larkspur at Creekside in New Braunfels, we've created a comprehensive range of activities to make it convenient and easy to be good to yourself. The Larkspur Lifestyle+ program is so inviting and fun. It's about feeling good emotionally, connecting to purpose, staying as fit and agile as possible, being social, keeping your brain sharp, and so much more. Here you can continue to build upon your meaningful, balanced, and rewarding life. We want you to feel good in every way every day. Dive into the whole program or pick and choose what works for you.