7 Activities for Seniors to Help Prevent Memory Loss
Memory loss can be challenging for seniors and their loved ones alike. But certain daily activities and games can help seniors stay sharp and engaged to prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments.
Consider the following activities, as you help your loved one protect their memory and live a full and enriched life.
The best activities to stay sharp and prevent memory loss
Games that boost cognitive health
- Card games
- Simple puzzles
- Word games, like word search
Play a game! A deck of cards makes for a lot of fun, from simple games like Solitaire or Go Fish to even just sorting the cards by color or suit. In addition to pickup games of cards, Uno, Scrabble, and more structured games offer cognitive benefits, while packing a lot of fun!
Whatever game you choose, be sure to tailor the game to your loved one’s ability — the point is to have fun, not feel frustrated.
The power of music
- Listening to records or CDs
- Live musical entertainment
Studies show listening to or practicing music can have a powerful effect on residents who experience memory loss, including Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It can enhance cognitive function and make them less agitated, providing a calming influence.
At Generations, our residents have many options for enjoying music in their everyday lives. We encourage sing-alongs, especially to songs from their youth, and we offer fireside piano music regularly. Residents can also enjoy music programs such as our frequent Happy Hours with musical entertainment.
- Working with yarn
- Coloring books
Artistic endeavors are a great way to keep seniors’ minds stimulated. At Generations, our residents are invited to attend watercolor painting sessions and even partake in the craft activities of their youth, such as sculpting with play dough.
Other fun artistic activities include creating cards for loved ones or making multi-media pieces using paper, fabric, shells, or other items. These hands-on activities encourage creative satisfaction and can often help boost self-esteem.
Physical activity & exercise
- Exercise videos
- Modified aerobics
Regular physical activity is an important part of memory loss prevention in seniors. Consider a daily walk or even a muscle fitness class to keep your loved one active.
- Day trips
- Park visits
- Outings for a treat
Visits, day trips, and outings can have a big impact on memory, jogging memories and creating new experiences. Consider planning a special trip with your loved one.
At Generations, our residents enjoy regular trips to parks and other destinations, allowing them to get some fresh air and visit beloved spots. Gardens, ice cream parlors, and area restaurants are some other spots our residents love to visit for a day out.
Visit memory lane
- Look through photo albums
- Reminisce about days gone by
- Create and play with memory bags
- Use the power of scent
One of the most interesting things about memory loss in seniors is the way the oldest memories last the longest. Sometimes simply reminiscing about songs, events, activities, or people from their youth is an enjoyable way to spend some time together.
Creating “memory bags” is another fun activity. Objects with special significance are placed into a bag (a velvet bag makes it extra special) and then they are removed and observed. To take this activity up a level, employ the power of scent or fragrance, which studies show is an excellent way of triggering memories.
- Sing hymns
- Look at or enjoy Bible stories
Faith is an important, lifelong comfort for many people. Seniors at increased risk of memory loss are encouraged to continue practicing their faith, as it provides many people with ongoing comfort and the joy of a meaningful routine.
Some enjoyable faith-based activities include daily prayer, church services, Bible study, and singing hymns together.
Caring for Seniors at Generations Senior Living
At Generations Senior Living our residents enjoy a thoughtfully curated range of games and activities to ensure their minds and bodies stay active. We make sure that everyone can partake in activities that are interesting to them, and we encourage our residents to challenge themselves, while also providing plenty of time for rest and relaxation.
Contact Generations Senior Living to learn more about the ways we support seniors and their loved ones, too.