Cognitive health is something that we tend to take for granted, but its what allows us to think clearly, learn, and remember. These are all important in our everyday function, but as we age and our bodies begin to change, our brains change as well. Some parts of the brain, including those used in learning and other complicated mental activities, begin to shrink. Blood flow in the brain may decrease, and communication between neurons may become less effective. Even in healthy older adults, these changes can begin to affect our cognitive function, making us slower to recall names and remember words, causing us to struggle with multitasking and diminishing our ability to pay attention. In people with Alzheimers or dementia, this loss of cognitive abilities is progressive.While there isnt a cure for cognitive decline yet, studies indicate there may be a link between brain games and improving cognitive abilities. The research may be inconclusive, but more medical experts are recommending brain games to slow down or prevent senior memory loss. Just as physical exercise keeps your body in shape, certain games and puzzles can keep your brain active and healthy.Five Ways Brain Games and Active Learning Benefit SeniorsBrain games help slow down age-related mental decline.Many seniors experience an age-related mental decline with slower reaction times, diminished vocabulary and a memory that isnt as sharp as it used to be. This is all par for the course of living a long, happy life. However, brain games and active learning can help reengage and improve a persons thinking skills. Its especially helpful if you vary the games played to promote learning new skills, words or trivia facts.Brain games help seniors stay connected with loved ones.Wondering what to do with an aging loved one in your care? Try playing a brain game the whole family can enjoy. Not only will you be giving their brain health a boost, but youll also get the chance to connect with your loved one in a meaningful way. You can include a wider network of friends and family by connecting through a video chat app on your smartphone or tablet while playing online brain games.Brain games can help alleviate senior stress and anxiety.Finishing a crossword puzzle or playing a board game can help ease feelings of stress or anxiety. Playing games is good for the mind and soul, as it keeps people socially active with friends, family or others in their community. Being more social helps eliminate or reduce the feelings of loneliness or depression many seniors face. Who couldnt benefit from a boost in their brain health, mood and social skills?Mastering new skills or games makes seniors feel engaged.Youre never too old to learn a new skill or master a new game. Finding new hobbies as we age is essential to our mental and physical health. If quilting, gardening or photography arent quite your senior loved ones speed, consider helping them explore a new language through the many learning apps on your smartphone or tablet. You can also try your hand at helping them learn a new brain game. Staying in a routine encourages passive brain participation. If we never push our boundaries and develop new cognitive skills, we may start to feel a disconnect with the world around us.Learning and playing games will keep you young at heart.If you want to stay young at heart, the secret is finding new ways to test your cognitive abilities. Its incredible how games that encourage active learning can make people feel younger and smarter while combating the feelings of boredom, restlessness or isolation plaguing todays seniors. Whether its an online version of Jeopardy! or a simple game of match the cards, you cant go wrong with games.Effective Brain Stimulating Games and Activities for SeniorsYou may be wondering whats categorized as a brain game when purchasing gifts for aging loved ones. The truth is that, while just about any game is better than being sedentary and watching television, not every game is effective for slowing cognitive decline. There are a number that allow you to stretch your brain, including:ChessA classic game of strategy, chess helps build logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. It may initially seem complicated, but learning how to play can strengthen cognitive function, increasing IQ and focus. Chess can be played in person or online.CheckersRecent research indicates that regularly playing checkers is connected to larger brain volume and improved cognitive health. Checkers can help improve hand-eye coordination, increase mental acuity, and alleviate stress. Because you play with other people, it can also help provide positive social interaction.ScrabbleScrabble is beneficial for every age group, but particularly for older adults, because it improves memory functions, lowers blood pressure and increases overall general wellbeing. It can be educational, too, because there are sometimes words you and your loved one didnt previously know.Word PuzzlesThere is evidence to suggest that playing games focused on language(Opens in a new window) may lead to improvements in memory, cognitive speed and verbal learning. These games include crosswords, word searches, anagrams, cryptograms, branded games like Mad Libs and online games like the recently released Wordle.Playing CardsCard games help people practice skills like reasoning, problem solving, memory and concentration. Card games can be played with a standard deck of cards or may have cards specific for the game, like Uno.Matching and Memory Games for AdultsBy testing short-term memory and the ability to remember patterns, matching and memory games engage the brain, activating areas related to recall and pattern recognition. Try a card matching game, or a memory game like listing the months of the year in alphabetical order or listing things that start with a certain letter.Trivia GamesPlaying trivia games can be an entertaining experience while also stimulating older adults minds. These games can be played as individual or on teams, and the topics and methods of playing can be modified to meet the needs of the people playing. Team trivia and Trivial Pursuit are two examples of fun trivia games.Brain Stimulating Games for Alzheimers and DementiaThere are many treatments in the works for people with Alzheimers and/or dementia, including new medication and deep brain stimulation. While these treatments show a lot of promise, science has not yet found a cure for these debilitating conditions. There is evidence to indicate, however, that stimulating the brain using certain games can be helpful.Recently, research was reviewed on the role of games in dementia care, looking at board games, video games, and virtual reality games. The review concluded that when people in the early and middle stages of dementia played these games, they saw improvement in a variety of cognitive abilities, including short-term memory, reaction time, problem solving, communication and logical reasoning. More research is needed, but there are some games believed to support a wide variety of cognitive skills for people with dementia.When choosing brain games for adults with dementia, it is important to select games suitable for the individuals cognitive abilities and preferences, carefully creating simple, familiar and non-frustrating experiences. Examples of games and activities for seniors with dementia include:Word PuzzlesAs stated earlier, games focused on language can improve memory, speed and verbal learning. For people with Alzheimers and other forms of dementia, research suggests that playing these games can lead to improvements not only seen through cognitive testing but also through neurophysical tests.Jigsaw PuzzlesWorking on a jigsaw puzzle is a fun way to work on memory and reasoning skills. Jigsaw puzzles come in a variety of difficulties, from simple, easy-to-piece-together puzzles to more complicated puzzles that require quite a bit of hand-eye coordination and memory recall. This makes it easy to choose a puzzle appropriate for a persons abilities.Dice GamesDice games often have a central component of luck, but they are good for helping people with dementia practice numerical and calculation skills. Brain-stimulating dice games include backgammon, kismet, liars dice, shut the box and Yahtzee.Card GamesCard games, as mentioned above, can boost skills like reasoning, problem solving, memory, and concentration. Since these skills are often in decline in people with dementia, they can be extremely beneficial. Matching games like go fish, trick-taking games like bridge, and even solitaire variations can be good for people with dementia.Board GamesBoard games use a premade board with game pieces and often elements like cards and dice. One recent study found that a higher frequency of playing board games between ages 70 and 79 resulted in less cognitive decline. Good board games to try include Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Ticket to Ride, Cranium and chess.Video GamesWhether traditional desktop games, game systems like Wii and Switch, or cell phone and tablet games, research supports the theory that these games can enhance cognitive function in older adults, improving visual recognition, visual memory and attention. Tetris, Candy Crush Saga, Animal Crossing, Wii Sports, and mobile or app versions of classic word games, puzzles and board games can all be beneficial.BrightStar Careoffers around-the-clock in-home senior careAt BrightStar Care, we take a unique approach to caring for older adults by pairing our unmatched clinical expertise with key education resources to help and empower families. BrightStar Care helps families meet the physical, mental, and emotional needs of an older relative by providing excellence in home health care.
In an age where technology is rapidly shaping our daily lives, its important to recognize that the benefits of digital innovation are not limited to a specific generation. Seniors are often overlooked in the fast-paced world of app development and technology. However, seniors are starting to discover the advantages of convenience apps designed to enhance their lives.These applications have the power to simplify tasks, increase access to essential services, and improve seniors independence. In this article, we will explore a range of convenience apps tailored to the unique needs and preferences of seniors, shedding light on the digital tools that are helping them lead more comfortable, connected, and fulfilling lives.Best Multifunctional Apps for Seniors A number of multifunctional apps have emerged as helpful tools for seniors. These tools offer a wide array of benefits that can enhance seniors daily lives. They also empower seniors to maintain their independence, especially if they are aging in place. Below are some of these useful multifunctional apps for seniors.GoGoGrandparentPhoto credit: GoGo GrandparentGoGoGrandparent is an over-the-phone service that helps seniors access apps for transportation, groceries, meals, medication delivery, household chores, and more. This service screens and monitors services from Uber, Instacart, DoorDash, and other companies to ensure the senior gets their needs met. With this tool, seniors can schedule rides, get groceries and meals delivered, hire someone to do household tasks, and have their prescriptions delivered straight to their home. For a senior who has difficulty driving or moving around, these services can be invaluable. By calling the phone number no smartphone required the senior can select the service they are looking for, and GoGoGrandparent will coordinate the request. An operator is available at all times to help the senior if they need it.There are different GoGoGrandparent membership packages available depending on how often the senior wishes to use the service. The most basic plan best for occasional usage is $10.39 a month. There are also three other plans available with increasing levels of services.Life360Photo credit: Life 360Life360 is the #1 family locator app and safety membership. In fact, 1 in 9 families use Life360 in the U.S. This app allows families to track one anothers locations along with location histories, arrival alerts, and emergency dispatch. It also provides driving safety services with crash detection and roadside assistance. This type of service is helpful for all families to have peace of mind about everyones safety. It is especially beneficial for seniors whose families may worry about their whereabouts, safety, and location. Google HomePhoto credit: Google HomeThe Google Home system and its accompanying app have proven to be immensely helpful tools for seniors by making everyday tasks more accessible and convenient. Through voice commands, seniors can effortlessly set reminders for medication, appointments, or important events, and access a wealth of information, from weather updates to news headlines. The app, which can be installed on smartphones or tablets, provides an intuitive interface for managing various aspects of their Google Home devices. Whether its adjusting thermostat settings, playing music, or making hands-free phone calls, Google Home offers seniors an accessible and user-friendly way to stay connected and manage their environment. This ultimately contributes to a greater sense of independence and comfort in their daily lives.Amazon AlexaPhoto credit: Amazon AlexaThe Amazon Alexa and the accompanying app are a virtual assistant technology that simplifies seniors daily routines and enhances their quality of life. With voice-activated commands, seniors can effortlessly control smart devices, set reminders, and access a plethora of information. From playing music to providing health tips, the Amazon Alexa helps seniors maintain their independence while enjoying the convenience of a voice-activated digital assistant.Ride Hailing Apps for SeniorsRide-hailing apps have emerged as lifelines for seniors who no longer drive or do not have easy access to transportation. These apps offer a user-friendly and convenient way to secure reliable rides to medical appointments, social gatherings, or everyday errands. For seniors, this newfound mobility can significantly enhance their quality of life. Having a mode of transportation helps seniors access the essential services they need, and allows them to stay connected to friends and family. Socializing is key for seniors mental and physical well-being, and having access to transportation helps make that possible. Below are some apps seniors can use to find reliable transportation.Uber and Uber AssistPhoto credit: Phone ArenaUber is one of the most well-known ride sharing apps. It can be found in every state in the US along with 10,000 cities in 72 countries around the world. In 2021, Uber reported having approximately 100,000 drivers in the state of Florida. Seniors can enter their desired destination, and an Uber driver will come pick them up and bring them where they want to go.One tool for seniors who need more help is Uber Assist. This rideshare program provides special assistance for people who might need extra assistance, including those who are older, less mobile, or have disabilities. Drivers for Uber Assist have been specially trained on helping these riders into vehicles and loading and unloading assistive devices. Seniors can access Uber Assist in the regular Uber app, as long as the service is available in the area. After entering the desired destination, simply select Assist at the bottom of the screen. This service is also available for caregivers and family members who request a ride for a senior. And, you can even schedule an Uber Assist ride in advance on the app. Uber Assist is currently available in 40 cities. Lyft and LivelyPhoto credit: LyftLyft is another major ridesharing app. Lyft works the same as Uber people can input their desired destinations, and a car will pick them up and bring them where they wish to go. Lyft is available in all 50 states as well as 72 countries. They also offer discounted rides for low-income families and seniors to access healthy food through their Lyft Up program. Lyft has partnered with Lively to create a service just for seniors who have Jitterbug phones. Seniors can simply dial 0 on their Jitterbug phone to be connected with an operator who will schedule a ride for them. This service is available anywhere Lyft operates.Grocery and Meal Delivery Apps for SeniorsGrocery and meal delivery apps can be life changing for seniors, ensuring they have access to fresh food and prepared meals without the challenges of in-person shopping or cooking. These apps allow seniors to conveniently browse, select, and order groceries or meals from the comfort of their own homes. With doorstep delivery, seniors no longer need to worry about transportation or navigating busy stores, which can be particularly taxing for some. In fact, seniors are using food delivery services at record-breaking rates. A recent study found that in 2020, 1 in 4 seniors ordered groceries or food delivery.This technology not only simplifies seniors daily routines but also contributes to their overall well-being, offering a lifeline for those who may have limited mobility or want to avoid crowded public spaces. Food delivery tools are another way seniors can maintain their independence and quality of life. Below are some of the most prominent.InstacartPhoto credit: InstacartInstacart is a grocery delivery service that allows you to shop from your favorite grocery stores with your computer or mobile device. Simply add items to your cart and schedule your preferred delivery time, which can be as fast an hour, or even several days in advance. Then, a shopper will gather your items and deliver them straight to your door.Instacart even has a special Senior Support Service for customers over age 60. With this service, Instacart specialists help customers who may need additional assistance to set up their accounts and place grocery orders. The Senior Support Line is available in the U.S. and Canada at 18449813433, daily from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. ET. Amazon Prime and Whole Foods deliveryPhoto credit: Food Business NewsWith over 200 million members, Amazon Prime has become an exceedingly popular service. Amazon Prime is a great tool for seniors to get household items delivered straight to their home. They can even schedule the items for repeat delivery so they never need to worry about reordering items. One useful feature that comes with Amazon Prime is Whole Foods delivery. For $9.95, Amazon Prime members in select regions can order Whole Foods groceries via Amazon.com or the Amazon app, and schedule them for same-day or next-day delivery to their home. Customers can also order Whole Foods groceries for curbside pickup at no additional cost. Grocery pickup is available at 500 Whole Foods stores in the US.UberEatsPhoto credit: UberEatsFor seniors who are already familiar with the Uber app, UberEats can be a great way to have meals delivered from their favorite restaurants. The companys food-delivery platform is similar to its rideshare platform, which can be helpful to streamline the experience for seniors. DoorDashPhoto credit: AllrecipesDoorDash is widely considered the most popular food delivery service in the US. Available in about 7,000 cities, DoorDash delivers food from more than 300,000 restaurants. It also saves your previous orders to make it easy for seniors to reorder from their favorite spots.GrubhubPhoto credit: GrubhubGrubhub delivers to about 8,000 cities in the US. In Florida, Grubhub delivers groceries and household items from about 260 restaurants and stores. The platform works the same way as UberEats or DoorDash, but some believe GrubHub has a wider selection of restaurants to choose from. Health Apps for SeniorsApps related to health and wellness are another beneficial technology for senior citizens. By enhancing health awareness and accessibility to care, health apps are valuable assets that enable seniors to maintain their health as they age. Below are some popular apps for senior health.MediSafePhoto credit: BridgingAppsMediSafe is the #1 rated pill reminder app by pharmacists and physicians. The app keeps track of your medications, reminds you when to take them, and tracks when you have or have not taken them. It also provides drug interaction warnings if they occur. And, it can alert seniors caregivers of missed doses.Medication management can be a challenge for some seniors, especially those who are experiencing memory difficulties. An app like MediSafe helps seniors keep track of their pills and prevent the dangers that can come with mismanaging medication.GoodRXPhoto credit: Medcity NewsThe GoodRX app and website provide coupons that can save customers up to 80% on their prescriptions. This service also allows customers to compare prices of prescriptions across 70,000 U.S. pharmacies. In Florida alone, there are over 1,300 pharmacies that accept GoodRx coupons and discounts. Overall, this service is a helpful resource for seniors to save money on necessary medications, which can quickly get expensive.ConclusionWhether seniors are aging at home or in a Florida assisted living community, convenience apps have proven to be invaluable tools for improving independence and quality of life. By making everyday tasks more accessible and efficient, these apps empower seniors to lead more full, connected lives, while also providing peace of mind to their loved ones. As technology continues to advance, the positive impact of convenience apps for seniors will continue to increase, creating a more inclusive and supportive digital landscape for our senior community.Need more senior guidance?Navigating the challenges that come with aging can be difficult. If you or a loved one could use no-cost guidance on finding the best senior living and care, give Florida Senior Consulting a call at (800) 969-7176.We help seniors find their perfect senior living communities, and we help with every step of the process along the way! Touring, packing, moving, unpacking, settling in we help with it ALL!Visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com to learn more.
A Glimpse into Senior Care TrendsDid you know? The concept of senior care is evolving rapidly. As our aging population grows, so does the demand for personalized and holistic care solutions. Trend: "Aging in Place" is gaining momentum. More seniors are choosing to remain in their homes, seeking in-home care and support services to maintain independence. Aging in place allows seniors to stay in familiar surroundings and maintain a sense of independence and control over their lives. It also promotes their overall well-being by reducing the stress and anxiety that can come with moving to a new environment. In-home care and support services are playing a significant role in facilitating aging in place. These services range from basic assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation, to more specialized care like medication management and companionship. The goal is to provide a comprehensive support system that ensures seniors can continue living comfortably and safely in their own homes. This personalized approach ensures that seniors receive the specific assistance they require, promoting their overall well-being and enhancing their quality of life. Moreover, in-home care allows seniors to maintain their social connections and engagement within their communities. The presence of a caregiver not only provides companionship but also facilitates participation in activities and events that are meaningful to the individual. This social interaction plays a vital role in combating loneliness and isolation, which can have detrimental effects on a senior's mental and physical health. Another emerging trend in senior care is the integration of technology. With the advancements in technology, seniors can now benefit from various tools and devices that enhance their safety, well-being, and overall quality of life. From wearable devices that monitor vital signs to smart home systems that automate tasks and enhance safety, technology is revolutionizing the way seniors age in place. For instance, telehealth services have become increasingly popular, enabling seniors to receive medical consultations and monitoring from the comfort of their homes. This not only reduces the need for frequent visits to healthcare facilities but also provides a convenient and efficient way to manage chronic conditions and receive timely medical attention. Furthermore, technology-driven solutions like medication management apps and reminder systems help seniors stay on top of their medication schedules, reducing the risk of medication errors and improving adherence to prescribed treatments. These innovations are empowering seniors to take control of their health and well-being, promoting independence and reducing the need for constant supervision.In conclusion, the concept of senior care is undergoing a significant transformation. The shift towards aging in place, the emphasis on personalized care, and the integration of technology are revolutionizing the way seniors receive support and assistance. These trends not only promote independence and well-being but also empower seniors to lead fulfilling lives in their own homes. As the demand for senior care continues to grow, it is crucial for providers to stay up-to-date with these evolving trends. By embracing personalized and holistic approaches to care, supporting aging in place, and integrating technology into their services, senior care providers can ensure that they are meeting the changing needs and expectations of the aging population. It is an exciting time for senior care, and it is essential that we continue to adapt and innovate to meet the evolving needs of our aging population. At Seniors Blue Book, we stay at the forefront of these industry trends, ensuring you have access to the most up-to-date information and care options. We are here to help connect you to local care options and resources to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Stay tuned and follow us for more insights into the ever-evolving landscape of senior careThis article was written by Apryl Garrett, Owner/Publisher of the Seniors Blue Book Greater Pittsburgh Area. She can be reached at 412-551-5951 or via email at Apryl@SeniorsBlueBook.com.