AN AWARD-WINNING care provider in Wales says it encourages its service users to engage in activities such as learning an instrument or gardening after a report revealed these are the best ways to stimulate the brain (August, 2017).
The Global Council’s recent report on brain health recommends people engage in stimulating activities such as learning an instrument, photography and gardening as they provide benefits for adults’ brain health and can impact how well the brain functions.
Ffion Evans, Registered Manager at Abacare, said: “We welcome the Global Council’s recent report on cognitively stimulating activities as it’s something we’ve been encouraging our service users to do for many years.
“The report says that ‘brain-training’ games including mind games and puzzles that are designed to improve brain health have little benefit as the player only gets better at the game, which does not amount to improvements in daily cognitive ability, and we agree, much preferring to encourage our service users to take up activities such as gardening that not only stimulate the brain, but help them get up and out into the fresh air and get some exercise too.
“We also encourage learning a musical instrument as this is a great way to improve brain function as it requires the brain systems to work together and can help improve listening skills.”
The report also lists learning a language, yoga, crafts, volunteering and tai-chi as brain stimulating activities.
James Goodwin, Chief Scientist at Age UK, which worked with the Global Council and AARP on the report, said: “Even though it’s never too late to learn something new, the overwhelming message from the report is that you shouldn’t wait until later life to try to maintain your brain health.
“The younger you start challenging yourself with mentally stimulating activities, the better your brain function will be as you age.”