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How to keep your brain active

Aging can be a scary thing. Not only are we getting older physically, but also mentally. Age can play a big part in how are brains are functioning, and we are all too aware of the risks of Alzheimer’s and other memory diseases that come with age.

Although we can’t prevent Alzheimer’s or Dementia, there are ways we can continue to “work out” our brains and keep them active. Just because you’re not working or not in school, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to learn and grow yourself mentally.

Here at Just Like Family, we want to help keep you as healthy as possible, whether that’s with our companions coming over to help prepare a meal, or getting you up and out for a walk or stretching.

We’re going to go over a few ways you can keep your brain active, so you stay mentally healthy for as long as possible.

brain changers.jpg

Via Antiaging Nootropics

Lifelong Learning

You may have been out of school for a few decades, but don’t let that stop you from continuing to learn. Although you despised a certain subject at school, now you have the freedom to learn whatever you want!

The access to the library and internet, the possibilities to learn just about anything are endless.

Think up a subject you’re curious about and see what resources you can find from books to online courses to local college classes you can sit in on to lectures.

Here are some topics you can dive into:

  • American history
  • World Wars
  • Basic Computers
  • Space
  • Languages
  • Gardening

Read More

If you’re retired, there’s no excuse not to be reading more. With access to the library, you can get pretty much any book you could ever want.

Or pick up a Kindle. Many libraries offer free digital rentals of books that you can do right from your home.

Read a mix of fiction and non-fiction. If a book doesn’t grab you and you feel that you are dreading finishing it, then stop! Just because you pick up a book doesn’t mean you necessarily need to finish it. Reading should be fun, find books that engage you.

Do Puzzles

Puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active. These include crosswords, Sudoku, Ken Ken, and even plain old jigsaw puzzles. You can pick up many of these at the dollar store, even a 500 piece puzzle is just $1!

Play Games

Games make you think. Find some games you can play either on your own or get a group together to play. Get board games or apps.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Settlers of Catan (board game)
  • 2048 (app)
  • Dots (app)
  • Cut the Rope (app)
  • Chess

Memory Exercises

Truly exercise your brain with some memory challenges. From Everyday Health, these can include:

  • Drawing a map from memory
  • Creating word pictures
  • Learning a new language
  • Refining your hand-eye ability (Painting, drawing, knitting)
  • Doing math in your head
  • Testing your recall

More Resources

Learn more about keeping your mind active with these resources.

6 simple steps to keep your mind sharp at any age | Harvard Medical School

Stay Mentally Active | ALZ.org

The Changing Brain in Healthy Aging | National Institute on Aging


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Must See Museums of Naples

About halfway through the summer you are ready to get your kids back in school. More than likely they are spending their days on tablets or phones, watching TV, or playing outside. It’s time to get them back in the learning mode!

What’s the best way to educate the whole family?

A trip to the museum!

There are tons of museums in Naples, you just have to know where to look.

Learn about the Everglades, history, the Holocaust, and much more.

Here’s a list of some of the many museums in and around Naples for you to explore.

The Holocaust Museum

Holocaust Museum

That’s right, Naples has its very own Holocaust Museum. Located on US 41 in a non-descript shopping center, the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida has been educating residents and visitors since 2001. Their Boxcar project has been a staple for years, visiting many local schools. View over 1,000 WWII and Holocaust artifacts and photos during your visit.
Tuesday – Sunday: 1:00 – 4:00 pm; Guided Tour at 1:30 pm
4760 Tamiami Trail North | Suite 7 | Sandalwood Square | Naples, FL 34103

The Baker Museum

This is one of the best arts museums in Southwest Florida. They are known for their many exhibitions of modern and contemporary art and their permanent collections. The 30,000 square foot facilities is home to 15 galleries. They offer lectures, a store, and visual arts events. Currently, until June 19 they are showcasing works of Monet, Roy Lichtenstein, and many more.
5833 Pelican Bay Boulevard Naples, FLorida 34108

Collier County Museum

1926 cottage

This museum showcases the history of our area. From prehistoric times up until the first settlers. There are exhibits, galleries, restored Naples cottages, the archaeology lab, Seminole village, and Calusa Indian Camp.
Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
3331 Tamiami Tr E Naples, Fl 34112

Naples Depot Museum

1909 caboose

Take a trip back in time to the days of the railroad in Southwest Florida. The Naples Depot Museum offers restored rail cars, a mule wagon, antique swamp buggy, and Seminole dugout canoes.
1051 5th Ave S Naples, Fl. 34102
Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples 


This ones for the kids! Your kids may groan at the word “museum” but not for the Golisano Childrens Museum of Naples (Cmon). Cmon is an interactive museum featuring exhibits like Build It! to explore engineering, Art Studio where they can express themselves, Mother Nature’s House to see how seasons affect everything, the Produce Market where kids can “shop” in a grocery store, and many more.
Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-4pm
15080 Livingston Rd Naples FL 34109

The Revs Insitute

revs inst

If you want to come to this car fanatic’s paradise, you’ll need an advanced reservation ticket. This museum features more than 100 cars dating back to 1896, including a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, 1995 McLaren F1, a 1937 Delehaye 135 Competition Special Roadster,  and a 1912 Mercer Raceabout. You HAVE to see this museum if you love cars.
2500 S. Horseshoe Drive Naples, Florida 34104 USA

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Outdoor Activities in Southwest Florida

The kids are out of school and you’ve got to find something to do with them! Or maybe you don’t have kids and just want to get out to enjoy that summer sun. There are tons of summer activities for families, couples, and adventurous souls around Southwest Florida. Being in Florida, we have access to many unique environments that other people never get to see. We have swamps, estuaries, rookeries, and the like filled with unique native wildlife.

Take a trip this summer to one of these nearby areas to experience the wildlife, scenery, and take some great photos!


Via Conservancy of SWFL Facebook

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida
The Conservancy’s mission is protect our water, land, wildlife, and future. Come visit the Nature Center, or join an offsite program like their Eco Cruise, Nature Walks, and Fossil Digs.

Rookery Bay
Visit Rookery Bay for recreation (boating, kayaking, fishing) or to learn. There are guided nature tours or you can explore on your own. Take a look at their list of events to see what’s going on.

The Everglades
A bit further outside of the area, but worth the trip if you plan to kayak or go on an airboat tour. You’ll really feel how expansive The Everglades is when you get out in the middle of it.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Visit the Naples Zoo as a group or on your own. Check out their daily schedule to see what’s going on such as chances to Meet the Keepers, and special shows like Snakes Alive!

Big Cypress National Preserve
The Big Cypress Swamp helps support the Everglades with its freshwater. The Swamp is home to various wildlife like Florida panthers, as well as plant life. You can camp and go explore the Preserve at your own pace.

Corkscrew Swamp
This Swamp is located about 30 minutes east of Naples. It is home to hundreds of animals like alligators, white tailed deer, red bellied turtles, otters, and many types of birds. Bring your camera to take photos along the boardwalk trail.

sun n fun lagoon

Via Sun N Fun Lagoon website

Sun N Fun Lagoon Water Park
Sure, you can cool off at the community pool or the beach this summer. But why not spend a day slipping and slidding through the various water rides at Sun N Fun Lagoon? Relax on the Lazy River, do a few laps in the pool, show off your form in on the diving board, and slip down the many slides.