Staying active can be as easy as a game of table tennis

Bryan Aldrige

June 20, 2011

At one senior center in Los Angeles, individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia come to play table tennis regularly. According to the Los Angeles Times, these people have shown improvement in their coordination and balance after playing the game.

"They have to predict where the ball is going, they have to respond to distance, they have to respond to time," Mikhail Zaretsky, the founder of the Gilbert Center, told the news source.

One of the regulars, Michael Boyer, is a 91 year old man with dementia whose words are usually incomprehensible, but when he plays ping pong, his wife says he "has more energy, talks more and moves twice as fast."

Regular exercise that improves mobility can reduce chances that a dementia patient will fall and hurt himself or herself, but medical alert systems can ensure that they will be able to get help in case something does happen. Should a senior who is suffering from dementia experience a fall, an elderly alert can help him or her get assistance.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, the most common form of dementia is the sixth-leading cause of death in America, and mortality rates increased by approximately 66 percent from 2000 to 2008.

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