Engage Your Brain and Body Too

Everywhere you look these days, the importance of keeping our brains fit and healthy is being talked about. Many entrepreneurs are making money selling pricey computer programs and other devices to fend off the possibility of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Brain fitness is, indeed, important to help make our “Golden Years” as tarnish-free as possible. But staying actively engaged in a variety of socially and intellectually stimulating activities is also very important. Here at Acacia, we are all about making the lives of our participants and their caregivers/family members happy and being the best they can be. The activities planned by our staff all have a therapeutic basis, designed to keep our brains and bodies engaged and clicking! From bingo to cooking classes, bowling and outdoor golf, sing along and musical presentations, exercise groups and walks to the park, we encourage our wonderful participants to use their brains and bodies in whatever activities strike their fancy. Acacia has recently started a new program, Acacia Secure, which tailors activities to the needs and abilities with those of our participants who have memory impairment. Most of the activities in Secure are done in small groups of 5 or 6 with one or two staff members enticing the folks to participate in sharing and reminiscing, art projects, sensory awareness and outdoor activities. There are lots of smiles and laughter coming from this group!

If you are a caregiver, are you doing the same? We all need to engage in socializing, brain engagement and physical activity. A recent conference I attended emphasized the benefits of humor and playfulness in our lives. Did you know that laughter is therapeutic? Our speaker recommended laughing 10 times a day! As a caregiver, that may be hard to do, but if you don’t care for yourself, it will be harder to care for your loved one.

Hang in there, and try out a support group!
Jan Brooks, MSW

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