Alzheimer’s Care Activities: Strengthening Your Parents’ Minds on Scrabble Day  

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As a caregiver offering care for an elderly adult with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, one of your main care goals should be finding ways to exercise and strengthen your parent’s mind. Studies have shown that regular “workouts” for the brain improve cognitive processing and can even help slow down the progression of the disease. Keeping your parent’s brain working, however, does not have to mean a never-ending stream of flashcards or having him repeat things to you throughout the day. While these activities do offer cognitive benefits, they can get tedious for both you and your senior.

This April 13, shake up your Alzheimer’s care and start a new tradition with your elderly parents by participating in Scrabble Day. This fun holiday celebrates the classic board game of Scrabble, which emerged in 1948 and has remained an enduring favorite for generations. With this game each player must make words on a board using lettered tiles. As the words form on the board the result resembles a crossword puzzle with new words connecting to others by borrowing letters and forming off of them either vertically or horizontally. Each word must be connected only to the letters that make up that word and each letter has a specific point value, allowing players to add up the value of their words to determine the winner.

Playing a game of Scrabble with your elderly parents stretches everyone’s brain in several ways, including:

• Players must think quickly to evaluate the words already on the board, the available letters, and the spaces. Since some spaces on the board are worth more in points than others, players must be strategic in choosing the words they play in order to maximize the point value of each word.

• Words played by other players directly impact the available words of all of the other players. You may be planning on spelling out “egress” with that dangling “s” from your husband’s last turn, but if your daughter then takes it to spell out “satin”, you must rethink your approach and find a new word. This challenges your parents’ ability to think ahead and then modify their plans according to the situation.

• Scrabble relies on a skill known as “anagramming”. This means to look at a word or a collection of letters and rearrange it to create new words. This requires abstract thought as well as the ability to visualize words even if you are unable to see all of the letters as you plan for potential words if you draw certain letters out of the tile bag.

• Playing this game introduces players to new words by reading the words played by others. Your seniors will have the chance to hear new words and may be prompted to use vocabulary they have not actively used in many years.

If your elderly parents have already progressed into later stages of the disease, the traditional version of Scrabble may be too challenging for them, creating frustration. In this case, look for Scrabble Junior. This scaled-down version of the game features words already printed on one side of the board so players must match their letters to the existing letters to spell out the words. This game still provides visual stimulation and requires thought processing such as recognition and matching.

If you or an aging loved one are in need of elder care services in Rockville Center, NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!

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Stephen Sternbach

Chief Executive Officer at Star Multi Care Services
Stephen Sternbach has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Star Multi Care Services since 1987. After the sale of the New York and New Jersey operations of Star Multi Care Services, Sternbach brought the company private where he remains President and CEO of this newly developed $22M home healthcare company. With Sternbach at the helm, Star Multi Care Services employs more than 550 employees, in six offices throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales.

1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002.

In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies.

Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.
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About the author: Stephen Sternbach
Stephen Sternbach has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Star Multi Care Services since 1987. After the sale of the New York and New Jersey operations of Star Multi Care Services, Sternbach brought the company private where he remains President and CEO of this newly developed $22M home healthcare company. With Sternbach at the helm, Star Multi Care Services employs more than 550 employees, in six offices throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales. 1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002. In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies. Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.