The benefits of puzzles - keeping the mind active for the elderly
DPS Shop - Mental benefits of puzzles and brain games
Posted by Liz Alderslade JANUARY
While it is a common stereotype that older people like to spend their time figuring out a crossword or putting together a puzzle of a lovely country landscape, did you know daily puzzles and games are backed by science?
Dementia advocacy groups advocate for older people to keep their minds active as an important preventative measure to the development of dementia or the acceleration of dementia.
Studies over the years have backed this standpoint, with many different researchers finding that puzzles can stimulate the brain and keep older people sharp while also delaying the onset of memory loss.
A UK researcher found that older people that frequently tried puzzles had better short-term memory capabilities and verbal reasoning of someone much younger.
That same researcher identified a close relationship between the frequency of puzzle use in people aged 50 and over and the quality of their cognitive function.
Benefits of puzzles and brain games
Puzzles and brain games are an easy way to stimulate your brain and keep your mind active.
They can benefit your brain by:
- Improving short-term memory
- Assisting with concentration and focus
- Relieving stress
- Improving quality of sleep
- Encouraging decision-making and improving processing speed
- Developing your problem-solving skills
- Sharpening your reasoning skills and attention to detail
- Keeping your fingers nimble, especially if you need to use a pen or move puzzle pieces around
- Enhancing your mood
All these benefits can be really vital to an ongoing healthy mind and body of an older person, as well as reduce the risk of chronic illness.
Highly popular puzzles for seniors
The game is a grid of nine by nine spaces with each row and column having nine squares. Each space needs to be filled with a number from one to nine, however, you cannot repeat a number within the same row, column and square.
A word puzzle that has a grid and you need to fill in the blank spaces. There are squares with some having numbers, and the numbers have co-related clues that you need to figure out the word for, which you can then place into its spot. All squares overlap, so you need to get correct answers for all clues for everything to fit properly.
A jigsaw puzzle is a picture that has been printed onto cardboard and then cut into pieces. You have to put all the pieces together again to make the full picture.
A word search is a grid of randomised letters and within this maze of letters, you have to find words which may be provided as is or through clues.
Chess is a game that requires two people to play. Each player has 16 pieces on the board that move in specific directions and have different functions. The aim of the game is to place the 'king' piece into 'checkmate', which wins the game.
Any game that involves exercising your brain is considered beneficial, even board games can provide both a mentally engaging and fun, social time for everyone involved.
For more information relating to Aged Care and the options that are available to you, you can also visit www.agedcareguide.com.au.
If you are looking for more information with regard to Disability Support, you can also try www.disabilitysupportguide.com.au.