If you’ve been diagnosed with dementia, have a loved one that’s been diagnosed, are worried about the possibility, or are simply interested in sharpening the mind, here are a few suggestions on ways to keep the brain active on a daily basis.
Memorize a list. It can be a list of favorite items, things you need to get done on that day, people you’d like to catch up with, etc. Whatever the case, come up with a list and work throughout the day on getting it memorized. It’s a great way to see how easily you’ll be able to remember things, and hopefully it will become easier as time goes on.
This can also be done with recipes. When you’re learning how to make something new or making something that you’ve already made a few times, attempt to do so without checking the recipe for ingredients or measurements. If you do need to reference it, it’s okay, but you’ll be working your mind by trying to remember on your own before checking.
Another way to work your mind is to pay in exact change. Obviously in order to do this you’ll need to have exact change, so you’ll need to keep coins in mind if you want to do this. Paying in exact change will force you to do math quickly as you count out your bills and coins. If it is stressful for you to keep people waiting and doing that math is difficult for you, it might be a good idea to only try this one when the line is short or there is no one behind you.
Lastly, a great way to work the mind is to have conversations with new people. There are a few reasons this can be helpful. First off, it will lift your mood to create social situations for yourself throughout the day because we all need that human interaction. It will also be beneficial because you will need to push yourself to come up with something to say to someone you don’t know much about. Lastly, keeping up a conversation takes a certain kind of thought process. You have to focus on what the other person is saying and then respond accordingly. If you don’t get out of the house very often, it’s important to take every opportunity to communicate with others.
Whether you try one of these or all of these, use the benefits as motivation to keep up these healthy habits.