The brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through action and perception. It is able to continually adapt and rewire itself, even in advanced age. Physical exercise and mental stimulation can improve brain function and protect against cognitive decline. The best “brain food” is mental stimulation, without it, our brain will atrophy due to lack of practice. Maplewood’s expertly trained staff continually incorporates a variety of activities to challenge your brain in order to improve concentration and memory as well as sustaining mental clarity.
“Use it or lose it” is a phrase the Maplewood staff understands. They concentrate on cross-training the brain by utilizing 3 key areas in brain exercises: novelty, variety and constant change. They offer residents new challenges that are not too difficult or impossible by focusing on different stimulation methods. For instance, doing a crossword puzzle activates part of the brain; however, since the brain allows you to focus on multiple things, it cannot be the only exercise that is done.
On a daily basis, Maplewood’s activity team provides residents with a variety of engaging activities such as crafts, cooking, baking, games, puzzles, reminiscing, story time, exercise, happy-hour, professional entertainment and excursions. These activities are not only fun, but are designed to improve cognition, memory, fluidity, versatility and adaptability function by using all five senses.
Mind and body wellness is interrelated. Physical activity is known to release endorphins and other helpful chemicals, thereby reducing depression and increasing the body’s ability to heal. Exercise provides strength, balance, flexibility, mobility and grace. One of the favorite recreational activities for Maplewood residents is Balloon Volleyball. If the participation levels and beaming smiles are a measure of success, Maplewood is undoubtedly a leader in memory- focused activities!
Loss of memory is probably one of the most frightening aspects of the changes we undergo as we age. It is as if our memories are who we are. Therefore, if we lose our memories, we lose a piece of who we are. Our staff at Maplewood is there to help keep your mind and body engaged, thereby keeping you independent and enjoying life to the fullest.
Music and Memory
Have you ever heard a tune and it brought you back to a fond memory? We at Maplewood recognize the interrelationship between music and memories. The joy and overall benefit music provides is why Maplewood became certified in the Music & Memory program and purchased a vast variety of musical selections, along with a significant amount of headphones & ipods. We’ve seen dramatic results in our cognitively impaired residents as they listen to individualized playlists, customized with input from family members. Results show that residents have a happy disposition often becoming more animated and engaged.