What Cognitive Exercises Are Best for Stroke Recovery?

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Following a stroke, it’s common for seniors to experience memory difficulties and loss of cognitive function. How exactly the stroke affected your senior loved one depends on the exact location in the brain where the blood clot occurred and how quickly stroke treatment began. Several brain exercises can help seniors during recovery.

Board Games

Strengthening the brain can start with something as simple as looking in your family’s game closet. Simple games such as checkers, memory-matching games, Connect 4, Scrabble, and Monopoly can boost cognitive function. These games can help your loved one with dexterity as he or she rolls the dice and moves the game pieces. They also require using basic math skills, planning ahead, and putting together simple words. Get the grandchildren involved so your loved one can connect with them.

Cards

Similar to participating in board games, playing cards can also strengthen memory. If your loved one doesn’t want to try board games, he or she may enjoy playing classic card games such as solitaire, hearts, and poker with friends. These games can help your loved one develop sequencing and planning skills. If your loved one has a difficult time holding items, consider using card holders.

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lincoln live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.

Mnemonics

Your loved one may have a difficult time remembering people, important dates, and common names of items around the house after the stroke. Introducing mnemonic exercises may help. Encourage your loved one to make up simple rhymes, such as “Fred who loves to wear red,” to strengthen his or her memory.

Hangman

If your loved one is having difficulty with communication, simple word games such as Hangman may help. Whether playing as part of a group or using a smartphone or an app, Hangman can help your loved one form words by guessing letters. As your loved one guesses letters, offer reminders about common phonics cues that may strengthen his or her reading and spelling skills.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care services. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Task Sequencing

Your loved one may feel overwhelmed when getting ready for bed or trying to recall what to do. Task-sequencing exercises can help. On a piece of paper, list several steps involved in completing different tasks, such as getting undressed, putting on pajamas, and brushing teeth. Cut each individual step out of the piece of paper and place them all on the table. Have your loved one put the tasks in order and then repeat.

Cognitive Remediation

Though some parts of your loved one’s brain were damaged during the stroke, other parts were not. Cognitive-remediation exercises focus on strengthening the brain based on the principle of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity means the brain isn’t a static organ, and new neural pathways can be made by enriching the environment. Cognitive-remediation exercises work by using skills your loved one still possesses to strengthen others. For example, your parent may still be able to write, but he or she may have a difficult time remembering things from just a few minutes before. Having your loved one write a list of tasks to do or items to get at the grocery store can strengthen his or her memory with the use of writing skills.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful 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 Lincoln 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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 916.226.3737.