Mental Stimulation & Keeping Residents Engaged

Mental Stimulation & Keeping Residents Engaged

Mental health is a critical component of a person’s overall health. This is especially true with seniors in assisted living. In these trying times, it is more important than ever to be vigilant in boosting the mental health of the residents in our care, and here are some steps you can take today.

There are some unique ways that seniors can actually boost their brain health and bodies as they age in residential assisted living homes. Taking care of your mind and body is important to avoid neurological risks and mental health disorders.

It is common for seniors to experience high risk of developing dementia and depression. However, regardless of one’s age, seniors can proactively take steps to strengthen their brain power. 

Did you know that using your memory, thinking, learning, socializing and other strategies could help seniors boost their brain power? It’s true. The following steps have been proven to reduce risks of developing dementia and slow the progression after diagnosis.


1.     Memory Exercises

Routine memory exercises are known to increase recall and retention as well as improve short and long-term recollection. These exercises can be accomplished in many ways. One example is to create and memorize grocery lists, and then utilize it to test your memory skills. Seniors can also exercise their memory with math, map drawing, and memorizing lyrics to their favorite songs. 

2.     Thinking Games

There area host of brain games, some digital, and others are board games that can sharpen the thinking skills of seniors. These games include popular items like daily crossword puzzles and Scrabble, and they are designed to make players think critically.

3. Continue Learning New Things

As seniors age, taking on a new hobby or skill can improve cognitive functioning and their sense of well-being. When learning a foreign language or new words, the process of listening and internalizing new sounds stimulate the brain. Individuals may desire to take different approaches, some artistic and others athletic. Whether you are providing care to seniors that enjoy cooking, painting, sports or musical instruments, learning new things is a brilliant way to keep the brain engaged. 

4.     Social Interaction

Social activities have the ability to limit depression and dementia by engaging in stimulating conversations. Participating with religious groups, community activities, and frequently connecting with loved ones are great options to get started socializing with others. These connections have a high potential of keeping seniors encouraged and engaged. 

5. Eliminate Stress

Chronic stress leads to mental chaos – avoid it at all cost, especially amongst aging seniors. Learning how to let go of fear, worry and responsibilities is critical. 

This could be accomplished through means of meditation, prayer, relaxation, reflection and exercise. Spending time with animals and spa treatments are also therapeutic ways to reduce stress and anxiety. 

6. Exercise and Diet

If you really want to boost your brain health, maintaining an active, healthy body is key. Start by eating a balanced, healthy diet, but don’t stop there. Walking and group exercise classes are certain to maximize your brain function, as well as improve your overall health. 

7. Get Help

Become familiar with the signs of depression and seek help immediately if a senior is experiencing symptoms. There are counseling options like the Oceanic Counseling Group that seniors can benefit from with care services that visit residential assisted living homes. These services also include memory care and coping with difficult thoughts and feelings. Always seek council from a physician. 


There are countless additional tips to boost brain health and cognitive awareness amongst the senior population. Many wellness activities can be enjoyable, and others are more challenging. Most professionals take an approach that includes seven dimensions of wellness that can be incorporated into daily life. These dimensions include physical, occupational, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and environmental. In order to specifically increase intellectual brain power amongst seniors, try employing the following three tactics:

  1. Wellness seminars, workshops and educational “lunch & learn” sessions, 
  2. Volunteer as a professional mentor, and 
  3. Make walking a part of your daily routine. 


The Residential Assisted Living National Association is here to provide information, resources and support for RAL owners and staff. Visit: to learn more about the support used to empower owners and operators to administer quality senior care. RALNA advocates for residential assisted living business owners and operators supporting them with guidance to legal expertise, continued education, national marketing, group purchasing power and a continual positive voice for the industry.

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