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Do Online Mind Games Improve Senior’s Brain Functioning?

online mind gamesThe Internet provides us with immediate responses to any question we are able to imagine, learning opportunities beyond what we might have thought of a generation previously, socialization enhancement, and so much more. One of the more enjoyable web developments for those who are in the senior care industry has been brain training programs – the online mind games and puzzles that contribute to increased cognitive functioning. But exactly how well do they really succeed?

AARP has been looking into just that, sharing findings in a recent report, Engage Your Brain. Even though further studies are required to better learn the long-term benefit of brain-stimulating activities, what we do know is that neuron connections can be improved through learning, resulting in the brain’s power to vary structure, function, as well as chemistry, a concept known as brain plasticity. This capability stays in place as the brain ages.

In one particular study, the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE), seniors’ cognitive performance and memory revealed a fantastic change for the better of as much as 63% whenever using Internet-based cognitive training programs. Additionally, elderly people who took part in the study demonstrated a 48% less chance of causing automobile accidents, and had the ability to more proficiently handle such day-to-day tasks as money management, taking medications, 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 pinpoint the results of specific online brain strengthening applications, particularly, whether cognitive decline can be minimized or slowed down. The final results indicated a marked improvement in memory, with participants’ memory recall equivalent to those ten years their junior. On the other hand, activities like crossword puzzles didn't show a direct effect on cognitive decline, with elderly people who routinely engage in crossword puzzles still trailing the younger generation in their particular level of performance. However, when compared to other seniors who didn't do crossword puzzles, functioning does seem to be a bit improved. Dr. Merzenich describes 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 talks about his results in more depth in this TED Talk.

It is necessary for individuals to sufficiently investigate Internet-based training programs that promise to increase a senior’s memory or cognitive functioning level, because there have been a number of businesses recently who've been shown to falsely advertise these types of promises.

Independence-4-Seniors Home Care offers opportunities for seniors in the Hinsdale area to optimize cognitive functioning through mentally stimulating games, reminiscing, socialization and recognizing the signs that help may be needed. Contact us or call (630) 323-4665 for in-home help and support for your client or senior loved one!

Posted October 06, 2017
Tags: Alzheimer's - Dementia, Senior Health

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