Bilbao’s city parks offer brain-training games for the elderly

elderly

(Vlad Sargu, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Katharine Rooney, Senior Writer, Formative Content


Loneliness and memory loss are two of the most universal fears about getting old. In Bilbao, Spain, city authorities are tackling both with the launch of a programme of cognitive games for the elderly in two public parks.

Image: Statista

The games – which help with attention span and mental arithmetic – are designed to build social connections and improve mental fitness. The parks will also give visitors the chance to take an exercise bike for a spin.

“By creating spaces where people can do not just physical but also cognitive exercises, we’re also making people interact with each other,” says Fran Vinez, Bilbao’s Director of Public Works and Services.

“All this connects to the issues of loneliness and people who live without interaction with others.”

Such spaces will become more important: by 2040, Spain is set to take over from Japan as home to the world’s longest-living population.

Fit for the future

There will be more than 2 billion people over the age of 60 by 2050, according to the Global Coalition on Aging.

The older people are, the more likely they are to be affected by dementia. A new case is diagnosed every 3 seconds, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of people living with the disease will almost triple by 2050. That puts a huge strain on public health services: annual global costs are already $818 billion.

It’s estimated that there will be around 82 million people suffering from dementia by 2030.

Gentle exercise and mental stimulation can help prevent the onset of dementia and manage symptoms, by improving cognition, building physical strength, increasing confidence and independence and reducing feelings of isolation.

Exercises from the East

When a cognitive enhancement gymnastics programme for elderly people with dementia was trialled in South Korea, researchers found participants in the study got much stronger at walking and had an improved sense of well-being after taking part in the activities.

The success of such projects in South Korea and Japan inspired the British Gymnastics Federation to launch its own chair gymnastics sessions in care homes and community sites across the UK, where it has already helped to elderly participants to be more mobile and more social.

Window shopping with a difference

There are mall walking schemes all over Toronto, Canada. In a city where winter temperatures can drop to -25°C, Mall Movers helps keep older people on the go throughout the year, with built-in social benefits.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such programmes can help overcome barriers to activity for elderly people, like fear of falling and worries about access to toilet facilities.

The Active Living Coalition for Older Adults says that mall managers welcome the sight of perambulating pensioners, who help increase mall traffic while they’re keeping fit, and often shop at stores.

After all, any new fitness regime calls for the right workout gear.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

‘Climate change is the battle of my life’, UN chief tells students living on the frontline in Fiji

Ebola cases rising in DR Congo, but UN health agency cites progress in community trust-building

EU budget 2019 approved: focus on the young, innovation and migration

Can Argentina’s new president save the country’s economy?

ECB to play down IMF’s alarms for deflation danger in the EU

Europe led by Germany seems vulnerable to Trump’s threats

The good news on pensions: sustainable equals profitable

India’s mega-rich are on the rise

This is why coral reefs are so vital for the planet

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

We can end TB right now. Here’s how

Global hunger is on the rise. These simple steps could help eradicate it

Women in Switzerland have gone on strike – this is why

Employers’ organizations work towards improving the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises

JADE Testimonial #2: Jacques @ Process mapping

Two days left until General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), lots of newsletter opt-outs but does the EU citizen really know?

We had the hottest June ever this year – this is what happened around the world

Draghi’s negative interest rates help Eurozone’s cohesion

We must treat cybersecurity as a public good. Here’s why

Mental health at stake: A silent epidemic of 21st century

Further reforms in Sweden can drive growth, competitiveness and social cohesion

GSMA Announces Latest Event Updates for 2018 “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”

America’s student debt crisis explained

Future of Insurance Claims in Focus at Fourth Annual Connected Claims Europe Summit

Youth Forum calls on Parliament to ease entry into Europe for young people

The financial future of Eurozone on the agenda of Friday’s ECOFIN council

‘Bring to life’ precious moments caught on film or tape, UN agency urges on World Day

Joris in Indonesia

Business models inspired by nature are the future

Hatred ‘a threat to everyone’, urges Guterres calling for global effort to end xenophobia and ‘loathsome rhetoric’

These are the world’s 10 most innovative economies

A for-profit project has improved nutrition in Rwanda – is it a model that can eliminate hunger across Africa?

A new way to teach active citizenship to students?

China is now heavily endorsing its big investment flow in the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

EU’s social crisis and unemployment to deteriorate

Macron defends the idea of European sovereignty

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

An ECB banker wants to change the European social model

Parliament votes for €1 billion in aid to Ukraine

Earthquake: Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Global response to poverty and environmental goals ‘not ambitious enough’

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

Europe and UN form bulwark against ‘might makes right’ worldview, EU foreign affairs chief tells Security Council

‘Virtual Biopsy’ device detects skin tumours in 15 minutes

Medical students of today, technological doctors of tomorrow

Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?

This credit card has a carbon-emission spending limit

Here are 4 ways investors can influence more secure and responsible innovation

EP President praises Nobel Peace Prize award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

UN must provide redress for minorities placed in toxic Kosovo camps, says rights expert

Russia – US in Syria: Selling Afrin to Turkey but facing off ruthlessly for Ghouta

A Sting Exclusive: “Stronger Cybersecurity for a safer EU against cybercrime and cyber threats”, by MEP Dalli

ECB describes in detail how it exploits the poor

These countries are leading the charge to clean energy

The Collapse of the Brazilian Health Care System

Zero carbon by 2050 is possible. Here is what we need to do

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s