When people age, their ability to use the brain effectively diminishes. It’s just like how the physical ability in humans changes over time. For a long time, it was perceived that reduced cognitive fitness in an aging person is inevitable. However, new studies and research indicate that a person’s brain can form new pathways even at the age of 80.
Medication is still the go-to treatment for cognitive disorders like memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and mental illness in aging adults. Unfortunately, medication only works on the symptoms and doesn’t focus on the underlying cause of the issue. Moreover, the failure of over 20 Alzheimer’s drugs has created a void in senior cognitive healthcare.
Now, doctors and scientists are eyeing towards technology to help enhance brain fitness and cognitive ability in aging people. And as we move towards a new decade, new marketplaces for “brain fitness” products have started to emerge. But how does brain fitness in seniors and technology relate? Let’s find out.
Very recently, it was believed that using devices like smartphones or computers can dull the mind. On the contrary, a study published in Intelligence revealed that those over 50 years of age are cognitively fit when they use technology. Another research indicates that older people who use technology like computers or tablets for seniors have sharper and active minds as compared to those who don’t. A study by the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group concluded that cognitive exercises and activities have the potential to reduce the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers are some of the easy-to-operate and accessible tech tools that aging individuals can use to reduce their mental age, enhance brain fitness, and improve mood.
How does technology help seniors keep their brain fit?
Senior-friendly tech devices like especially designer computers, tablets, or mobiles have brain-boosting games and entertaining media content. Playing games offer a brain break to the player, which is essential for adapting to old age. Besides this, games also help relieve stress as well as offer a platform to interact with others. Technology also works as an affordable and accessible recreation that also enhances the cognitive functioning of a person’s brain.
Scientifically speaking, when senior people use a tech device, it causes them to use their senses more accurately. The use of hand-held devices promotes hand-eye coordination and allows the brain to function as a muscle. It also promotes the brain to use new neural connections or reuse existing ones, thus further keeping the brain active and sharp even at an old age.
Internet technology and brain fitness
We all know that physical exercise and activities keep the brain fit and active. As a person ages, they lose their physical ability and agility, which ultimately affects their cognitive fitness. However, merely surfing the internet and exploring the online world can do wonders to stimulate the brain and keep it engaged. Besides this, browsing the world of the web is a great exercise to brush up cognitive fitness and improve memory. All they need to do is lookup for topics they like on the internet and explore more about it. Social media is another excellent offering of the internet that helps seniors with limited mobility stay connected with family and friends. Interacting on social media and making new contact are some of the easiest ways to combat loneliness and what follows it.
Video games for a sharp brain
Numerous studies have indicated that the use of technology stimulates memory and develops learning skills. Those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia can benefit from video games as it triggers cognitive function and fights memory loss. Most tablets designed for seniors like the Birdsong tablet have interactive games that stimulate the brain as well as keep the person engaged and entertained. These games can be easily incorporated into a routine along with other cognitive fitness exercises.
GPS technology to stay connected
Seniors who are aging in place can always enjoy the trip to the neighborhood. These trips and outings can be both physically and mentally rewarding for the seniors. Geo-caching is another way to enhance brain functioning in seniors. Seniors can explore the surrounding area with the help of GPS as well as meet new people and make acquaintances. It’s a great way to improve cognitive fitness and wade away from isolation and loneliness.