Sensory exercises for the brain are essential for the aging self. Especially when a person suffers from memory loss, continuing sensory and brain activities to stimulate parts of the brain that need the attention is essential. Moreover, sitting and watching a movie will not suffice in exercising the senses enough. Five types of simulations stem from our five senses: Sight (visual), hearing (auditory), smell (olfactory), taste (gustatory), and touch (tactile) simulation.
In addition to the five senses, our nervous system also gathers and stores information providing sensory feedback to the brain. Vestibular stimulation provides us with balance, providing the brain with feedback that keeps us moving without falling over. Proprioceptive stimulation is sensory feedback that informs us how parts of the body are moving and how they are moving. Keeping the muscles and body engaged will take strength of the patient and caregiver to promote movement outside of their daily space.
An example of a great sensory exercise is taking a stroll through the forest as the fall leaves are changing. Reason being, it will include visual, auditory, olfactory, and proprioceptive stimulation all at the same time. Adding fresh air and a walk in the park will provide a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s the comprehensive sensory exercise they need. Including natural light as a daily activity will only boost stimulation while indoors. Creating stained glass trinkets in the window may provide mere satisfaction for the patient. At New Horizons In-Home Care, our caregivers would love to take that extra mile and get outside with your loved one.