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    Mental Sharpness
    Louise_WebMD_Staff posted:
    There is lots of research on why people's mental skills decline in their 70s, but a new study looks at that age group and found why. Out of 2,500 people, 30% kept sharp or even became more acute.

    What helped? Exercise (not a lot), high school education, ninth grade literacy, no smoking, and being socially active.

    The exercise and socially active are two things we can work on with our loved ones. But how? When getting out of the house seems like an achievement and exercise is often getting them to get out of bed for a few hours.

    What do you think? Any tips?
    GAP1954 responded:
    Caregivers are usually so exhausted that the idea of programmed Q & A time to keep brain stimulation high is daunting. Day care groups for seniors is a great option for socializing. You almost always will find significant resistance to going but if you insist and keep insisting, after 2-3 weeks it usually becomes "when are we gong..." instead of "I don't want to go..." Large format cross word puzzles (when appropriate) are good. Watching wheel of fortune is good (ever wonder why the majority of people watching it are over 50?) Coloring books, puzzles, painting, assembling simple things like plastic lids on containers (screw type). Think about the skill level you are dealing with and then find appropriate tasks that actually have some purpose and end result. If painting, a picture results - be sure to hang it up. If assembling plastic jars and lids, getting them matched up is an accomplishment - display them and then re-use them. You have to become part doctor, therapist, neurologist and boss (among everything else). Good luck.

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