Tip of the Day for 3/10/21

Today’s Tip of the Day talks about Attention and Concentration Exercises for TBI Patients

Some of these exercises will require help from another person such as a caregiver or family member:

1. Repeat Numbers and Letters

Caregiver, say a list of letters or numbers in a slow, steady tone of voice and ask the person who has suffered the brain injury to make a mark on the paper every time they hear a certain number or letter.

2. Rhythm Matching

One person should tap out a simple, two-step rhythm several times with their hand on the table (tap-delay-tap-tap). The person with the injury should try to match the rhythm.

If this seems too easy, both of you should turn your chairs around so you are not facing each other. This way you must focus with only your auditory processing.

3. “Add 3, Subtract 7”

Pick any 2-digit number, then add 3 to that number three times.

Next subtract 7 from that final number, then repeat.

This exercise is great because your brain must attend to and hold on to several details at once. It also helps you get better at processing and organizing information.

4. Practice Fine Motor Exercises

Practicing fine motor skills is a great way to improve cognitive function after TBI, especially if these skills have been impaired. Some fine motor exercises you can try are:

  • Stacking pennies
  • Therapy putty exercises
  • Stretching rubber bands
  • Jigsaw puzzles

You can even try learning a musical instrument, which has extra benefits for TBI recovery.

5. Use Your Non-Dominant Hand

If possible, try to use your non-dominant hand during daily activities every once in a while.

For example, brush your hair with your left hand instead of your right hand one day a week.

This not only engages a different side of your brain, it also stimulates your neurons to fire in a new way, which strengthens cognitive function.

6. Sit Outside and Journal

Sit outside, and write down everything you see, hear, and smell. This engages areas of the brain that are not usually active and will help improve your concentration.

If you have difficulty writing, you can also speak what you observe out loud. The important thing is to just pay close attention to your surroundings.

Cognitive Rehabilitation Exercises for Memory Skills

The following exercises can be used to help you improve memory function:

7. Picture Recall

Caregivers, place two different cards from a deck of playing cards face up and let the person view them for 5 seconds. Turn the cards face down.

Now ask them to point to the cards that are named (e.g. “point to the Queen”). Every once in a while ask for a card that was not shown.

Increase the number of cards to a max of 5 as the person progresses.

8. Naming Therapy

This cognitive exercise is often used to help people suffering from aphasia recall words, but it’s also a great way to improve memory in general.

One good naming therapy exercise is to have someone else write down several general categories (such as tools, animals, plants, countries, occupation, foods, sports, etc.)

Then try to remember and name (verbally or in writing) as many items in that category as possible.

For caregivers, if the patient gets stumped, you can give hints. For example, if they can’t come up with any animal names, you can tell them to think of a farm or zoo, etc.

9. Grocery List

Have someone go to the grocery store with you and tell them to choose 2 or 3 food items.

Then, go and find those items without writing down what the person said. As you improve you should increase the number of items you must memorize, until you can recall 7 items.

10. Card Recall

Select four playing cards in sequence (3 of clubs, 4 of clubs, 5 of clubs) and place in random order face up. After five seconds turn the cards face down.

Then turn the cards over in sequence (3, then 4, then 5).

As you improve increase the number of cards in the sequence, allowing one more second of view time for each card added, to a maximum of 7 cards.

Check out our learning library at www.alaskabraininjury.net for online pamphlets with more tips on this and other issues that affect those with brain injury.

Source: https://www.flintrehab.com/cognitive-exercises-tbi/ ffff