Friday, April 10, 2009

Engage your brain and body

The last 3 visits the MIL was mostly lucid.  I am so hoping this better environment (and medical care) will get her back to a more healthy state.  She's turning 85 tomorrow and I'm feeling pretty happy she seems to be on her way back.  

She's not returning to the place where she was living.  I'm thinking because she wasn't in tip top shape mentally when she got there she was ignored as a person with personality, but seen as someone who was senile.  

Mostly I think the elderly who need to be coaxed into doing things (the MIL is like that now, she didn't used to be tho) don't get coaxed to join in the group activities.  If you're mobile or don't have any infimities it's easier to go out and make friends.  But the MIL is always afraid someone isn't going to understand her Parkinsons so she retreats.  Which is absolutely the worse thing she can do.  She needs social interaction so when she retreats, she doesn't get it.  And when she doesn't get it it's almost as if she becomes one of those kids you hear about that turn handicapped from lack of human touch/interaction. No stimulus seems to urge the brain to turn off.

She's lost a lot of the things that used to stimulate her.  No more crafts, she rarely reads, she doesn't listen to opera or any music, she basically watches tv.  Which does not really engage your brain.  The more lethargic she becomes the more (I think) she loses the will to go on.

I know that sounds dramatic.  But you can see how much more alive she is when she is entertained by other people.  

That said, it really points out to me that we must, at all stages of our lives engage ourselves.  I don't watch a lot of tv instead I read or bead, or make something.  I'm always trying to find a solution to something I'm creating.  I can only hope those things help my brain to function better, keep my memory sharp.  I hear Sudoku does that but I hate Sudoku. LOL.  I'm better at applying logic and deductive reasoning to how to do something craftwise.  

Honestly the more I think about tv, the more I think it's a killer of brain cells and personality.  I mean, I do like a good movie that fosters conversation but overall, it doesn't create a solution, it only creates a few moments of introspection and analysis and then you leave the memory of that behind for good.  Unless you are one of those people who remember every movie, every cast, every line of said movie and then continually compare and contrast to other situations, real and created.

I mean really, think about what happens to your body as you sit, night after night watching tv.  You get complacent and lazy for hours each night.  How much tv do you watch a night?  How many hours?  Since most of it doesn't really make you think, your brain is on autopilot.  How many calories are you ingesting and then letting sit there turning into bad fat which makes it doubly hard to get up and go.

I've got to get better at moving, not just my brain cells but my body.  I read a lot to engage my brain but my body isn't engaged as much as it should be.  

Lots for me to think about...hopefully while moving about eh? 

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