2nd Feb

The Baseline for Brain Health

As we now know, the human brain is one of the most intriguing and highly complex organs in existence. To think it was once thought only to be a radiator for cooling blood! The ancient physician Hippocrates was onto something when he said, “Men ought to know that from the brain, and from the brain only, arise our pleasures, joy, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs and tears.Because he was right; it is through our brains that we think, see, hear — distinguish the ugly from the beautiful, the bad from the good, and the pleasant from the unpleasant.

We know that good nutrition, exercise, and frequent social engagement improves our cognitive wellbeing. We simply feel better when we are eating right, moving around and seeing the sun, and interacting with friends and family. But because our brains are so complex, maintaining brain health actually requires more than those things.

 

Why Brain Health is So Important in the Older Adult

Thus far, we know the brain is controlled by millions of neurons that interact within different areas to create our daily living experience. We also know that our brains are malleable — meaning that the brain can adapt to new experiences and situations. The health and state of our brains can also change how we think, what we believe, even our personality. In the older adult, a healthy brain can help our residents preserve their memories and their personalities — in essence, what makes them them.  This is one reason why Functional Pathways is so committed to helping our residents exercise their brains.

Different types of brain training exercises target specific areas of the brain. We help our residents “work out” the parts of their brain that will be most useful to them in improving aspects of their life. We also include many exercises that can even be done in their own home, with the simple aid of the crossword puzzle or Sudoku!

 

Some great ways to get brain neurons firing:

– Learning something new (such as the rules to a card game you’ve never played before or the moves to a dance!)

– Having a new experience

– Doing a puzzle

– Doing a crossword

– Solving riddles

– Playing a new game with friends

 

In all of our facilities, Functional Pathways’ Therapists, Wellness Coordinators, and clinical staff are working hard to incorporate these brain training methods and much more into the lives of those we serve.

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