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Brain Training Programs for Your Dementia Residents

By Heather Brown
January 20, 2017

Individuals that suffer from Dementia are often placed in the care of an adult residential care homes to receive assistance with their daily needs. The aggressive disease directly impacts individuals’ cognitive state and over time can be detrimental to their memory. Finding a cure for Dementia has been an ongoing battle for researchers for years. A recent study released by Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly or ACTIVE sheds a new light for individuals susceptible to the disease.

Study Findings

The study recruited more than 2,800 individuals and divided them into three separate test groups. Individuals in two of the groups received 10 hours of training and a select group was invited back for four more hours of training time. Of those that participated in the extra training time, only 8.2 percent developed dementia. According to the ACTIVE study, those that participate in brain training are 48 percent LESS likely to develop dementia.

Brain Training Programs

There is no shortage of brain training programs available today to individuals at risk. Here are five programs you can find on the Internet.

  1. Brain HQ. Brain HQ features 29 unique mind exercises for individuals. The exercises help boost attention, memory, intelligence, and navigation. The program includes Double Decision, which is the program used in the ACTIVE study.
  2. Lumosity. Lumosity is a free mobile app available for download on Apple and Android devices. The exercises in Luminosity are created to help individuals improve their problem-solving skills. The program teaches users to pay attention to the right elements and ignore those that will slow you down.
  3. Dakim. Dakim is an online program designed to give your brain a comprehensive workout. The program houses more than 100 different activities perfect for your residents and they offer a free online trial. Their patented technology, Nurologic technology acts as a personal trainer for the brain to get it in shape.
  4. Peak. Peak offers a variety of games, puzzles, and programs for users. They focus on helping individuals improve their attention, mental agility, and gain a better understanding of language. You can download a free version of the mobile app on your device or upgrade to the paid version depending on how much variety you want to offer residents.
  5. Brain Metrix. Brain Metrix is a free online service you can offer your residents. Their robust collection lets users exercise and improve spatial intelligence, IQ, memory, and concentration.

Benefits

Even with the recent ACTIVE study, there are several ongoing debates on the effectiveness of brain training. Here are five benefits that may make brain training worthwhile.

  1. Improved memory. Some programs published studies showing improvements in both auditory and visual memory. Signs of an improved memory help individuals with dementia regain some of their lost confidence.
  2. Faster reflexes. Brain training helps consistent users think faster on their feet by focusing on pinpointing what is relevant to the situation and what isn’t. Some studies show improvements of 135% in mental processing.
  3. Good Mood. Individuals using brain training programs have higher levels of Dopamine in their system. Dopamine creates a sense of upbeat happiness and keeps the individuals in high spirits.
  4. Finding the right words. We have all had a moment where we know what we want to say but cannot seem to find the right words. Individuals with dementia experience this more often and brain training programs can help train their brain to think more quickly.
  5. Confidence. Individuals that know they are doing something good for themselves feel better and have increased confidence in their actions. As older individuals start to feel less certain about their actions, introducing brain training helps gets them back on their feet.

While there is no cure for dementia, there are steps individuals can take to exercise their mind and possibly decrease their chances of acquiring the disease. Every medical professional has their own opinion of the ACTIVE study results. While there is nothing set in stone, brain training programs may help your residents improve their quality of life.

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