Last year, one of our clients inspired to go beyond the traditional brain stimulation exercises to reverse cognitive decline, and we started creating personalized Word-Puzzles. The mechanic is simple, the results outstanding.
How does it work?
The operation is effortless. A member of the family sends us via email, from 5 to 10 words of any related topic and we build a word puzzle with these words. (We can add several levels of difficulties depending on the level of the cognitive decline).
What are the benefits of this type of brain stimulation?
The benefits of puzzles are astonishing. These exercises stimulate both sides of the brain. The right, focuses on creativity and intuitive thought, while the left, is focused on logic and order promoting less decline of cognitive functioning.
Puzzles also improve memory and visual perception. When you put together a puzzle, your eyes are constantly scanning for a piece that matches a specific subject, word or shape. This effort not only improves visual recognition (which often declines with dementia) but strengthens short-term memory as well.
Neuroplasticity and new connections
Word puzzles reinforce memory to strengthen connections among brain cells and build new relationships between subjects. For Seniors with memory loss, this is particularly important because they often have trouble interacting with those around them, especially as their symptoms progress. The fact that relationships between subjects are improving make them more alert, engage and promotes more social interaction and more sense of belonging.
Relaxation and Anxiety
Activities that exercise both sides of the brain also encourage the mental state foundation of the meditation mode. (To take out thoughts from past like -fear, trauma, distress; and Future,- Anxiety). In this state of calm and relaxation, Rest & Digest will promote healing, lowering inflammation, pain, blood pressure and all the benefits of this critical pre-healing stage.
What about Neurotransmitters?
Relaxation, meditation and the fact that the senior is completing a task, such as solving one piece or an entire puzzle, releases Dopamine in the brain. In addition to the feel-good effect, Dopamine also has the added benefits of improving motor skills, concentration, optimism, confidence, and recollection – all beneficial to those with memory loss!
Finally, it is essential to understand that for people with dementia, feeling a sense of accomplishment can be rare. Their disease may limit them from doing the kinds of tasks they used to do with ease. A simple project, such as finishing a puzzle, can give them a big boost in pride and a sense of purpose.
Engagement is the key.
We know the concept of “use it or lose it”especially regarding muscles and other body functions but also the brain is related. Maintaining the brain active through reading and some activities that demand “thinking” may stimulate and promote strong brain connections. However, the problem with a patient with cognitive decline is that even a simple task might be arduous and they usually start giving up on complex and demanding thinking activities. Brain stimulation exercises are available everywhere, but the problem always is engagement. With words related to their current experiences, we are making sure that we are connecting their past reality with the accomplishment and these connections promote the willingness needed for this challenge.
Want to include customized word puzzle in your home care services?
You will have it. At Assisting Hands, we would be glad to include your beloved one. Please ask for your weekly WordPuzzle. Share experiences, names of family members, special events and all the situations that might challenge the memory of your loved one. We build the word puzzle and print it to be released through the caregiver or to your email. The benefits are incredible, and you will have the retribution to participate actively in the stimulation. Email now and ask for a free demo of a personalized word puzzle.
(email us to firstname.lastname@example.org.)