Learning and using a foreign language engages the mind and switching from English to another language exercises the brain in a way that helps delay the onset of dementia. The "Learn Spanish" app by Mindsnacks teaches basic Spanish words and pronunciation for senior caregivers and their clients.
As Spanish continues to become a more prominent language in the United States, some caregivers may have senior clients whose first language is Spanish. Those caregivers can use this app to learn the basics of the language if they don't already know it and practice their pronunciation with their senior clients. For seniors who don't speak a second language, this app provides stimulation to the part of the brain responsible for building up a "cognitive reserve," which prevents the onset of dementia.
The app itself requires the user to create an account and asks for the user's experience level with speaking Spanish. Upon choosing the lowest level, it begins the game. The app displays a word in one language and then provides two choices for a matching word in the other language. For example, the Spanish word on top might be "Dos" and the two English words below it might be "Two" and "Three." The user must select "Two" to earn points as "Dos" is the Spanish word for "Two."
The app makes this into a game, awarding points for each correct answer and ending the round when the user does not answer a question or chooses too many incorrect answers. After each round, it offers an evaluation of how well the user understands each of the words presented, with scores fluctuating and improving as the user plays more rounds.
The basic version of the app is available for free for Apple products.
Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist.