Brain activities for seniors?
Or course, Senior Citizens have brain activities, and lots of them, some are pretty rambunctious too.
However some Senior Citizens will say that my brain activity doesn't quite qualify for senior citizen brain activity because I am only 64.
To hear my kids tell it, and sometimes my wife, I am older than dirt.
What I do know is that I have been noticing some of the changes that come to my brain with my age, such as a struggle to find just the right word, at just the right time.
I also worry that I will not have finished my parenting or husbanding jobs before I am carted off to senior living, also called "the home."
So I have been looking to emerging information about brain fitness to aid and abet my continuing effectiveness as a semi-senior citizen.
And technology and science are providing me very interesting resources. Ever heard of neuroplasticity or neurogenesis?
Neurogenesis in particular was an unknown characteristic of the human brain until perhaps a decade ago.
Main stream neurologigical dogma was that human brains grew new neurons only up until a certain age and then we were stuck with the brain we had, which slowly disappeared or rapidly disappeared if you drink too much or were exposed to toxic chemicals too frequently. also called "the home."
Not true. The brain actually grows new neurons every day, and according to my reading of the research, we can lock those new neurons into place with a novel learning experience which might include newly emerging computer brain fitness programs for brain training.
While novel learning experiences might include learning a musical instrument or a new language or how to play chess with my kids, it can include the above mentioned computer trainings.
Neuroplasticity is my brains ceaseless attempts to rewire itself based on the learning tasks I am giving it.
According to Simon Evans, Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D., authors of Brainfit for Life, those new connections between neurons can happen in minutes and hours, and can become permanent if the circuit fires enough.
That ceaseless neuroplasticity is what gives my brain enough reserve to route its activity around alzheimers plaques for example, or to establish what is called a cognitive reserve for my true senior years.
Not sure about you, but I am not going to take up a new language and I may never get to truely learning a new instrument because of the demands of my life.
But I can make time for brain fitness programs like the Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro, the program from Lumosity, and the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program, which I have bought and which I use.
I have read the research upon which the results are based and pay close attention to developments in the field, both the positive and negative, but for my money trying them out is well worth it, especially Lumosity and Mind Sparke, which are cheap compared to the benefit.
The Posit Science Brain Fitness Program is the most expensive, and demands the most time, but 40 hours of practice, for my older brain?
Posit Science has also had the most research done on it, and while I cannot read the research as astutely as a scientist, the fact that it is out there for verification is a very strong plus for me. For example, please look at the video below, by one of the lead researchers on the recently published IMPACT study.
Each of the above programs, and they are not the only ones, just the programs I have tried, have a website which talks about brain fitness research and developments in the field.
Those websites are an excellent way to stay connected to the developments, and I would suggest following them if you are interested.
The Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro really made a difference in my ability to concentrate. I am very greatful that this particular tool has come into my life. It is focused on my neurology in a way that paper and pencil and text book exercises never could have done, because it uses flashing lights and sounds. Not that paper and pencil aren't sensory experience, but the lights and sounds are real time.
It makes neurons in circuits fire together, and the result is better, longer focus. The game is fun too.
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