Mind Sharpening Activities for the Elderly

There are several reasons why the elderly tend to experience cognitive issues. This cognitive can all be managed, delayed, or completely avoided by helping them to keep their brain active and engaged. In fact, some of these activities do not just help them; it also gives you and your loved one a chance to have fun together and enjoy each other’s company.

Which is why in this article, we are going to list down some mind-stimulating activities that can help keep senior’s mind sharp and improve their creativity, memory, problem-solving, as well as other cognitive functions.

1. Let them Play Word Games

Word games are proven to be an effective and fun way to engage the mind. These puzzles help the seniors improve their word recall, memory, and other brain functions. This will work well mostly if they once enjoyed word play books in the past, such as Sudoku, word searches, and crossword puzzles, because it means they may still enjoy solving them. Just be patient because they may not be able to do these puzzles quickly as they did in the past; that is why it would help if you find easier wordplay games.

You can also look for books with larger print and those that are designed for younger kids. Help the seniors be patient for them to complete the crossword puzzles your loved one or patient to finish crossword puzzles.

2. Play Games and Puzzles with Them

Games and puzzles are perfect mind-sharpening activities for seniors, but only if they are patient enough to deal with them. We suggest that you choose puzzles or games or puzzles that are not too complicated so they will not be frustrated and give up easily. It is also best to find games and puzzles that are intended for children so that it be a little bit easy and will come in larger print; this way, they can patiently engage in the activity.

3. Play Card Games

Simple card games such as Solitaire, Poker, Memory Match, and Go Fish can also improve seniors’ cognitive function. Card games are proven to help stimulate parts of the brain that are responsible for memory retention, logical problem-solving, and other cognitive functions.

4. Engage in Activities that Involves the Use of Hands

Activities that help keep the hand and eye coordination can also be helpful for seniors. Activities such as drawing, painting, knitting, sewing, playing video games, and playing an instrument can help seniors to exercise the brain.

5. Engage in a Healthy Lifestyle with Physical Exercise

Helping the elderly maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for improving their memory. Just like how our muscles need exercise to grow, our brains need them, too. Aside from consuming nutritious foods, maintaining stress levels, and having a sufficient sleep, Keeping the elderly physically active is also essential.

For seniors that have limited mobility, there are still several ways to help them stay physically active such as housekeeping, light gardening, walking, meditation and stretching. Stretching your muscles and exercising helps release endorphins in the brain. Besides that, having a healthy lifestyle and ample physical exercise can also help improve one’s vitality, mood, alertness, and overall feelings of well-being.

6. Chess & Other Strategy Games

Strategy games such as scrabble, chess, and checkers can also help to stimulate multiple parts of the brain. In fact, these games are widely used for educational purposes, and study believes chess can have the following benefits:

  • Raise an individual’s IQ
  • It helps prevent Alzheimer’s as well as other forms of dementia
  • Helps to exercise both left and right side of the brain
  • Can increase creativity
  • Improve concentration, memory, reading, problem-solving, as well as decision-making skills

7. Reading

Even if seniors struggle with cognitive issues, magazines and books can still help get their attention and help keep their brains active. Try reading together a good novel, catch up with the daily news, or go through some article on the web. This will not only keep the seniors entertained and informed, but it can also help them improve different cognitive functions.

This is because reading stimulates our imagination and makes our brain create images that match the words written on paper.