Healthy Hobbies That Will Boost Your Brain

Mental Health Coverage in Medicare

For some Medicare recipients, affordable access to mental health care providers remains as important as any aspect of an insurance plan. With reports circulating that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would allow states to receive waivers that allow insurers to eliminate coverage for mental health services, we know you may be concerned.

Currently, Medicare Part A covers mental health benefits for inpatients at hospitals that require them to be admitted. But Medicare coverage does not include personal items, a TV or phone in the room, private nursing, or a private room unless it is deemed medically necessary. Your costs for mental health care under Medicare feature a $1,316 deductible for each benefit period.

Meanwhile, mental health benefits covered by Medicare Part B include visits with clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants- when a doctor or health care provider agrees to the assignment. In addition, Medicare Part B offers one free depression screening per year, and will cover up to 80% of the Medicare-approved costs for outpatient services such as diagnostic tests, medication management, and more.

Learn more about Medicare coverage of inpatient services
Learn more about Medicare coverage of outpatient services

How to boost your mental health

But you have the ability to take good care your mental health, and avoid the costs that may or may not be covered in future healthcare plans.

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Your brain is the boss of your body. It controls everything you do, from your feelings to your behaviors. It’s vital that you challenge and stimulate your brain to make it stronger. Below are some great healthy hobbies for seniors that are scientifically proven to give your brain the boost that it needs.

Sports & fitness

It’s always important to be active as it improves your efficiency and productivity in life. Exercise not only helps the brain, it helps your body. The more you move your body, the more nutrients, blood, and oxygen move through your body. Here are some activities seniors can participate in to improve memory:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Bowling
  • Shuffleboard
  • Pickle Ball
  • Tennis
  • Bike Riding
  • Dancing
  • Stair Climbing

Computer skills & gaming

Mastering new computer and gaming skills will sharpen your mind tremendously. To keep the brain strengthened and to improve memory function in seniors, experts recommend playing computer games.  There are a number of free games online that will simulate your brain like:

  • Puzzles/Crossword puzzles
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Sudoku
  • Chess
  • BeJewelled
  • Solitaire

Yoga & neditation

According to studies, yoga and meditation decrease stress, depression, and anxiety while increasing happiness and the overall quality of life. With stress on the mind and body comes increased heart rate, breathing rate, and muscle tension. Simply put, a calm mind equals relaxed muscles, which results in positive and uplifting thoughts. A weekly routine of yoga and meditation will strengthen thinking skills and help to stave off aging-related mental decline.

Cooking & baking

Not only can cooking be fun, it’s great for your brain. Cooking improves your ability to multitask. Studies show that multitasking sparks brain activity and enhances neural efficiency.

Playing an instrument

Studies show that playing an instrument increases the capacity of your memory. Playing an instrument changes the shape and power of your brain and improves your cognitive skills. If you learn how to play an instrument you increase your motor skills, while improving your hearing and helping your memory grow. It will also sharpen your concentration and enhance your coordination.

Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts can help alleviate boredom and keep your mind busy. It will help with depression, along with improving your hand-eye coordination, cognitive abilities, and concentration. It will also lower your risks for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Learn another language

Learning a new language will help make your brain more mentally fit. Studies show that bilinguals show Alzheimer’s symptoms 5 to 6 years later than those who only speak one language.

It will improve:

  • Cognition
  • Memory
  • Enrich Social Life

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Medicare World Editorial Team

The Medicare World editorial team works diligently to make sure our stories are informative, unbiased, and of utmost relevance to our readers. Our team of researchers and writers presents the best and latest information on all things Medicare, including legislation, enrollment rules, changes in coverage and costs, and health information. We enjoy keeping our readers up-to-date and helping them navigate the often-complicated Medicare maze.

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