407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org

Exercising Our Brains

Most people notice changes in their thinking and memory as they grow older. Neurologists tell us that some older adults develop dementia, however, most memory changes are age-related and normal.

Staying physically active benefits every organ in our bodies—and that includes the brain. Our brains also need a good mental workout. Studies show that cognitive decline can be reduced through a combination of daily activities, like using a computer and playing word games.

Mental stimulation encourages new connections between brain cells—and these connections provide alternate pathways for accessing memories, making it easier for the brain to compensate for the cognitive changes associated with dementia.

The emphasis definitely is on “new,” because neurologists say that when it comes to top-notch brain exercise, novelty is especially beneficial. 

  • The number one way to stay mentally (and physically) fit is dance.  The combination of learning new information and movement is especially good for the brain.
  • Consider taking classes—both the information and social interaction help the brain!
  • Learn a new language or art form.
  • Read and join a book club for both mental and social stimulation.
  • Do puzzles of all sorts.
  • Play video games.
  • Get outside and garden!

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.