Elderly woman sitting at the table and types on laptop.

Elderly woman sitting at the table and types on laptop.The online world provides us with immediate responses to almost any question we are able to imagine, learning opportunities beyond what we might have thought of a generation previously, socialization enhancement, and so much more. Among the most enjoyable online developments for those of us in the senior care industry has been brain training programs – the memory games online that promote improved cognitive functioning. But how well do they actually succeed?

AARP has been recently researching precisely that, sharing outcomes in a recent report, Engage Your Brain. Although more research is recommended to better grasp the long-term impact of brain-stimulating exercises, what we can say for sure is that neuron connections can be reinforced through learning, leading to the brain’s power to change structure, function, and also chemistry, a principle referred to as brain plasticity. This capability remains in place while the brain ages.

In one study, the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE), seniors’ cognitive performance as well as memory exhibited a fantastic change for the better in as many as 63% of those using online cognitive training programs. Moreover, seniors who took part in the study displayed a 48% less chance of causing automobile accidents, and could more efficiently handle such daily activities as money management, taking medicines, and more.

Dr. Michael Merzenich, co-founder of Posit Science (creators of the Brain HQ program), has managed a series of clinical trials to better pinpoint the effects of certain internet brain strengthening applications, particularly, whether cognitive decline can be reduced or slowed down. The results suggested a pronounced improvement in memory, with participants’ memory recall equal to individuals ten years their junior. Alternatively, exercises like crossword puzzles didn’t demonstrate an influence on cognitive decline, with elderly people who consistently engage in crossword puzzles still trailing young adults in their degree of functioning. Even so, in comparison with other seniors who didn’t work on crossword puzzles, functioning does appear to be a little enhanced. Dr. Merzenich describes it as, “Crossword puzzles might improve your cognitive function, but it’s equally likely that having good cognitive function encourages you to do crossword puzzles.” Dr. Merzenich discusses his discoveries in more depth in this TED Talk.

It is necessary for consumers to adequately research memory games online that guarantee to improve a senior’s cognitive performance level, because there have been a number of businesses recently who have been revealed to wrongly advertise these types of promises.

Atlanta Home Care Partners offers opportunities for senior citizens to maximize cognitive functioning through mentally stimulating games, reminiscing, socialization and a lot more. We also provide specialized Atlanta Alzheimer’s care from our uniquely trained Alzheimer’s Whisperers®. Contact us at (404) 228-0103 for in-home help for your client or senior loved one!