Although there may not be any cure for Alzheimer’s disease but for its prevention and wellbeing of the patients, mental and physical exercises are quite helpful. It is important for Alzheimer patients to live an active lifestyle for their own betterment. Even if they are not able to take care of themselves fully and are unable to perform activities normally, you can still help your loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in doing the following exercises and activities to boost memory and brain function:
1. Solving puzzles
Problem solving and puzzles like crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku or others are cognitive exercises and are useful for Alzheimer patients. Doing crosswords is also very beneficial. Moreover the stimulation which such actives provide, improve brain function and memory. The more time spent challenging your brain in the early years of life, the better. Keeping the brain engaged can generate new brain cells.
2. Drawing maps from memory
When your loved ones come back home after visiting a new place, you can ask them to try to draw the map of the route which they took or the location of important landmarks there. By repeating this exercise after every time they visit a new place, will enhance their memory.
3. Refining the hand-eye abilities
It is also very effective if Alzheimer patients to get involved in activities or hobbies involving fine-motor skills. Activities like knitting, painting, drawing and calligraphy are some effective activities in this regard.
4. Aerobic exercises
Aerobic exercises are a great therapy for Alzheimer’s patients. It will make them feel better and increase the blood supply to the brain which encourages new brain cell growth. Walking, cycling, gardening helps to increase the heart rate. Researches have shown enhanced brain function to be related to aerobic exercising in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Video gaming
Video games are a great way to increase the attention level, memory and decision making power in Alzheimer’s patients. They are helpful in exercising the brain and can also be very helpful for people with mild cognitive impairment.
Reading can also be used to increase the brain function. You can ask your loved ones to read a book or magazine and later on ask them about what they just read. You might not be able to see good results initially but doing it on a regular basis will lead the patients to be attentive while reading and afterwards exert their brain to remember what they just read.
7. Building healthier relationships
Although people with Alzheimer’s disease can have troubles getting along with other family members, but you can help them build better relationship with their close ones. This can be done by involving them in family activities and decisions. This positive exercise of building healthier relationships will ultimately make them much happier and boost their brains.
8. Playing Chess, Card or Scrabble
Chess, Card and Scrabble are games which can help Alzheimer patients to stay mentally active and alert, while enjoying the light moments in between. These are the easiest to begin stimulating the brain using games that the patient is already familiar with but introducing a new game will confuse them.
9. Yoga and meditation
Regular yoga and meditation will help to improve connectivity in the brain’s part that never shuts down. It also slows the shrinkage of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning. Qigong and Tai Chi are also quite gentle Chinese martial arts combining meditation and physical movements. They are a great way to improve balance and stability of elderly patients of Alzheimer’s disease.
Swimming is also a great exercise for patients of Alzheimer. Although, they do not have a high risk of drowning but also they should be properly supervised. Swimming helps them to improve their muscle coordination, mood and also reduce their anxiety. Ultimately it will relax their mind and improve their brain function.
It is very important for Alzheimer patients to exercise mentally as well as physically. All the above exercises and activities will surely help Alzheimer patient in improving their memory and brain function.