Studies have shown that adopting good health habits can prevent cognitive decline and further reduce the risk of dementia. Some good examples include avoiding smoking, getting enough sleep, keeping physically active, and interacting with others. Age UK, also highlight the importance of carrying out “mentally stimulating” activities, to keep our brains in “peak condition”. Recently we haven’t been able to leave our house as much as we might have liked but there are still ways that we can keep physically and mentally active, within the safety of our own homes.
If you are unable to leave your home to exercise, you can keep physically active, by moving around your home/garden. The NHS website also provides information, on how to do chair-based exercises, as well as information for people who have limited mobility and want to keep active. Mind charity highlights the importance of physical exercise, explaining how it reduces the risk of depression, and positively impacts one’s self-esteem.
Playing mentally stimulating games, reading, and completing puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active. For those who love a good challenge; you can purchase large print Sudoku books on the internet. There is also a wide range of large print puzzle books, such as crosswords, on the market. If you are a fan of playing games, there are some great accessible games for those who are visually impaired. You can purchase giant dominoes and playing cards, with braille. Some classic dominoes games have raised dots, for those who are visually impaired.
For the Apple users, there is an app called ‘Accessible Crosswords’, which includes a Voice-Over feature – a great way to get you thinking! Reading is also a great form of escapism, and is known to reduce stress, as well as improving vocabulary. Sadly, the pandemic currently restricts our social interactions. However, we are lucky to have technology such as telephones, laptops, and video-call apps, to connect us to loved ones, during these difficult times.