6 Best Cognitive Exercises for Aging Stroke Survivors

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While physical exercise is certainly important for stroke recovery—especially within the first few months—it’s just as important for senior stroke survivors to take steps to regain their cognitive abilities. Exercises of this nature typically focus on abilities such as problem-solving, thought processing, and mental clarity. Let’s take a moment to spotlight some of the top stroke recovery exercises designed to help with cognitive skills.

1. Brain Training Apps

Lumosity is an award-winning cognitive training app that gives senior stroke survivors instant access to more than 60 different cognitive exercises. Each one is designed to strengthen various cognitive capabilities with games that are both therapeutic and entertaining. Similar brain training apps that can be used to boost your senior loved one’s cognitive skills post-stroke include:

• Constant Therapy
• Tactus Therapy
• Aura
• Thinking Time Pro

2. Board Games

Checkers and Connect Four are just two of the many simple yet fun board games that can help a senior recover cognitive abilities after a stroke. These games fine-tune problem-solving skills while also enhancing short-term memory and pattern recognition abilities. The small physical movements often required to play board games can also boost fine motor skills.

An in-home caregiver can be a wonderful game-playing companion for your loved one. Families looking for top-rated elderly home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

3. Puzzles

When your loved one is waiting to start his or her next physical therapy session or simply looking for something to do, encourage him or her to browse through a puzzle book or use a puzzle app on a smartphone or tablet. What’s good about puzzle-based exercises, including crosswords, word searches, and number-based puzzles like Sudoku, is that they can be as simple or as challenging as your loved one prefers. They also retrain parts of the brain responsible for:

• Math and logic skills
• Vocabulary and language
• Recall and recognition

4. Speech Therapy Exercises

Speech therapy exercises can also help senior stroke survivors boost their cognitive abilities because the exercises frequently used to enhance speech target parts of the brain that handle many different cognitive functions. 

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. South Tampa, FL, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

5. Arts and Crafts Projects

Because activities that involve coloring, painting, scrapbooking, and drawing require both creativity and manual dexterity, multiple areas in both sides of the brain are stimulated at the same time. This dual stimulation helps the brain rewire itself after a stroke, which could boost capabilities in a wide range of brain functions. Plus, activities of this nature also make it easier for senior stroke survivors to express themselves as they recover.

6. Music Therapy Exercises

Cognitive function and attention span are just some of the abilities that may be regained post-stroke by doing exercises involving music. Cognitive exercises falling into this category could be as simple and enjoyable as singing favorite songs, which can help with recall and memory lapses related to the stroke. Other forms of musical stimulation that may be appropriate for senior stroke survivors include:

• Singing in a group
• Playing favorite or familiar musical instruments
• Repeating beats on a drum or similar instrument in response to a pattern that’s played 

A professional caregiver can be a fantastic source of information and support for a senior recovering from a stroke. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of South Tampa at-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (813) 302-7632 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.

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