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Brain-Stimulating Exercises for Aging Stroke Survivors

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Strokes can damage the brain, impacting areas essential to memory, speech, and cognition. However, cognitive exercises can activate the brain’s neuroplasticity—its ability to rewire itself. Over time, mental exercises form new neural pathways in the brain, leading to marked enhancements in memory. Here are a few of the best cognitive exercises for senior stroke survivors.

Brain-Boosting Apps

Tech-savvy seniors can train their brains with apps designed specifically for that purpose. The app Lumosity offers several puzzles and games geared toward memory, logic, and math skills. The developer Tactus Therapy offers apps ideal for seniors facing language challenges. Tactus Therapy’s aphasia apps provide support for language comprehension, naming, reading, writing, and speaking. As users progress, they receive conversation therapy, category therapy, and number therapy. The Tactus Therapy clinical tools apps, on the other hand, focus on visual attention problems and creating personalized memory targets. 

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but North Broward live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.

Puzzles

For seniors who still prefer paper and pen to a smartphone screen, traditional puzzles are also effective cognitive exercises. Depending on the extent and type of brain damage, senior stroke survivors may find some puzzles quite difficult. A senior with language difficulties may be frustrated by a crossword puzzle, and a senior with visual cognition issues may be stymied by a game of sudoku. However, progress is never entirely painless, and the mental effort puzzles require can create new, healthy neural pathways. Caregivers should look for puzzles that will challenge their senior loved ones but won’t discourage them from trying again later. It’s only through daily habit and repetition that cognitive exercises can have a long-term impact.

Meditation

After completing a brain-busting game of sudoku, your loved one may want to take a few minutes to meditate. Mindful meditation can increase the brain’s information-processing powers, attentiveness, and mental flexibility. It also boosts mood and emotional and mental wellbeing. Seniors are at greater risk of developing depression after a stroke, and meditation can help them calm their minds, hone their mental faculties, and remain sanguine throughout the recovery process. 

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care service provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

Speech Therapy

When a stroke damages the ability to communicate verbally, speech therapy may be the most effective method for recovery. Post-stroke communication problems are often caused by damage to the left front part of the brain, which contains the language network. These problems are known as aphasia. Speech therapists can help stroke survivors recover some of their lost communication skills by using techniques such as role-playing, word-retrieval training, and conversational practice in group settings.

Music and Art

Completing puzzles and speech therapy sessions can be hard work for recovering seniors. When they need a different kind of stimulation, they should consider therapies that activate their creativity, such as music therapy and art therapy. Music engages unique areas of the brain, and simply listening to a favorite song can boost cognitive function. Painting, on the other hand, gives the right side of the brain a workout and increases fine motor skills.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for a senior recovering from a stroke. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of North Broward elderly home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 954-906-5161 to learn more about our customized care plans.