The reduced levels of dopamine in the brains of seniors with Parkinson’s are known to affect physical function. However, the depletion also eventually interferes with cognitive ability. Along with dopamine reduction, depleted amounts of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and norepinephrine are thought to lead to cognitive impairment. The cognitive problems seniors with Parkinson’s experience vary from one person to the next. However, common symptoms include attention deficits, slowed thinking, memory loss, inability to learn, and visual-perceptual abnormalities. Playing the following games may stimulate the brain and stave off cognitive malfunction.
The basics of Boggle involve lettered dice. When the dice are thrown, players must form as many words as possible from the letters facing upward. After three minutes, the points are tallied for each player. The game stimulates the language, memory, sequencing, and visual centers in the brain so seniors with Parkinson’s can create words from the dice. Additionally, when the game is played with friends or family, seniors reap the benefits of socialization. The game is available in board form, on mobile devices, and on home gaming systems.
Many aging adults in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live independently but may need help with the everyday tasks of life, such as preparing nutritious meals and exercising. Seniors who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit greatly from reliable in-home care. El Cajon families trust Coast Care Partners to provide the high-quality care their loved ones need.
A number of apps are available for smartphones and other mobile devices that are created specifically to enhance cognitive ability. Free and low-cost apps are available on Google Play, the iOS App Store, and iTunes. Fit Brains Trainer features more than 360 games and puzzles that stimulate memory as well as problem-solving and strategy skills. Brain Fitness was created by neuroscientists and contains various games. Players have the chance to determine their initial cognitive ability levels and check their progress along the way. The games are played alone or in competition with others. Brain Trainer features games that challenge language, math, and spatial skills along with enhancing attention, memory, and problem-solving abilities. Seniors with Parkinson’s have the option of choosing games based on their cognitive needs.
This simple game was once popular among youngsters and remains available today. The handheld electronic device features four colored buttons. When started, the game plays a series of colors that players must then repeat. As the game progresses, the sequences become longer and longer. Simon is a good way to boost memory and fine motor skills.
Video games have been shown to enhance cognitive flexibility, memory, processing speed, and reasoning and sequencing skills. Seniors find playing their favorite video games alleviates stress while enhancing their concentration and focus. The games also encourage neuron plasticity. Game graphics provide pleasant visual stimulation. Video games are available online or can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device.
Some home gaming systems offer games with motion sensors to monitor and record the physical movements of players. This way, players can enjoy a game of golf, compete in a tennis match, or play baseball. Other games challenge participants’ physical balance. Motion-based games are ideal for seniors with Parkinson’s. While stimulating the brain and increasing neuroplasticity, seniors also enhance their physical range of motion.
If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and needs help with tasks like meal prep, exercise, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Coast Care Partners, a leading provider of elder care in El Cajon. We also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s and dementia home care. El Cajon families are urged to call us today at 619-354-2544.