The online world provides us with instantaneous answers to virtually any question it is possible to imagine, learning opportunities beyond what we might have dreamed about a generation previously, socialization enhancement, and so much more. Among the most enjoyable Internet developments for people in the senior care field has been brain training applications – the brain games online that contribute to enhanced cognitive functioning. But how well do they actually do the job?
AARP has been investigating precisely that, sharing information in an interesting report, Engage Your Brain. Even though more studies are necessary to better understand the long-term benefit of brain-stimulating exercises, what we can say for certain is that neuron connections can be improved through learning, bringing about the brain’s ability to vary structure and function as well as chemistry, a concept known as brain plasticity. This capability continues to be in place as the mind ages.
In one study, the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE), seniors’ cognitive functioning as well as memory showed a great change for the better of close to 63% whenever using Internet-based cognitive training applications. On top of that, older persons who participated in the study displayed a 48% less chance of causing auto accidents, and could actually more proficiently manage such day-to-day activities as money management, taking medicines, and more.
Dr. Michael Merzenich, co-founder of Posit Science (creators of the Brain HQ program), has managed a number of clinical trials to better identify the end results of specific Internet brain strengthening programs, particularly, whether cognitive decline can be minimized or slowed down. The results suggested a noticeable improvement in memory, with participants’ memory recall the same as those ten years their junior. Conversely, exercises such as crossword puzzles did not demonstrate an impact on cognitive decline, with aging adults who routinely engage in crossword puzzles still trailing the younger generation in their level of performance. Even so, in comparison with other seniors who didn’t perform crossword puzzles, functioning does appear to be slightly improved. Dr. Merzenich explains it as, “Crossword puzzles might improve your cognitive function, but it’s equally likely that having good cognitive function encourages you to do crossword puzzles.” Dr. Merzenich discusses his conclusions in more depth in this TED Talk.
It’s important for individuals to sufficiently research online training programs that guarantee to enhance a senior’s memory or cognitive functioning level, since there have been a few businesses recently who’ve been revealed to falsely advertise such claims.
Heaven at Home Senior Care in the Dallas metro area provides opportunities for older persons to maximize cognitive functioning through mentally challenging games, reminiscing, socialization and much more. Contact us or call us at 866-381-0500 for in-home solutions for your client or senior loved one!