Telling Stories From Aging Veteran’s Past Can Help

Tue, Mar 22 2016 | Uncategorized

World Storytelling Day was March 20 and, believe it or not, encouraging an elderly veteran to talk about things that happened in his life can actually improve his life at the moment. An elderly veteran may or may not be relying on home care support at the moment, but as they begin having increasing challenges taking care of their own basic tasks, such as getting dressed, bathing, or preparing meals, home care is a great option to consider.

So how can telling stories make a difference?

Doctors recommend people of all ages get exercise on a daily basis. This is because muscles require stimulation to stay as strong as possible. The brain is a muscle and though it doesn’t look anything like other muscles in the body, it still requires exercise and stimulation to stay in peak condition.

A person who watches TV all day isn’t getting much mental stimulation at all. Watching TV is a passive activity. Passive activities don’t stimulate much in the brain. A person who watches TV all day or doesn’t get much mental exercise is at an increased risk of memory loss and even developing certain forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

When a person begins talking about their past, whether it’s going through a photo album with family member or reminiscing about times with close, old friends, it’s actually tapping into memories they may not have thought about in a long time.

Every single experience a person has in life is stored in the brain somewhere. Just because they can’t remember it on any given day doesn’t mean it’s gone. Memories, or events, that are not thought about for some time eventually get transposed to a different brain wavelength. In other words, they get moved from the conscious areas of the brain to the subconscious levels. In order to access them, there has to be a direct link through the neural network in the brain to get to them.

When a person begins telling stories of their younger years, they often begin recalling other memories they hadn’t thought about in a long time. This process is putting the brain into overdrive. That is allowing it to have some great exercise to keep it strong and healthy, thus reducing the risk of memory loss and possibly even reducing the risk of developing some sort of dementia. So, encouraging an elderly veteran to tell stories about their life, especially their distant past, can be a great benefit, whether they rely on home care or not.

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