It can be quite stimulating for older folk to carry out brain exercises on a regular basis. This can not only help keep them occupied and active but can also go a long way when it comes to promoting healthy aging, sharp memory, better focus, continued independence, control, preventing isolation and forming connections.
Best Brain Exercises For Seniors
Even when cognitive interventions or training are provided to seniors, functioning, independence and cognitive health can be maintained effectively for a few years, as per the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study.
Maintaining an active lifestyle, learning new skills, being active in the community, meeting people and carrying out physical exercise can all contribute to brain health or cognitive health.
If you are a senior or a child or acquaintance of a senior, then some activities that you can consider looking into and trying out include the following. You can then pick a few or try them all out to see what works best and what you enjoy doing to help keep your mind active.
Jigsaw puzzles can be a good way for you to stimulate your mind by figuring out patterns, establishing strategies, finding similar pieces, solving problems and bringing together a larger piece.
This can help activate and keep certain parts of the brain running. They can also be satisfying and soothing since they can help establish a calm and quiet atmosphere.
Your visual and spatial memory can benefit here as well. You can start off with a small puzzle and move on to more complex ones.
Ravensburger puzzles are a good example.
Reading can be another great exercise to keep your mind and cognition sharp. It can allow you to maintain your imagination, processing skills, visualization, creativity, linguistic skills and vocabulary.
It can also be a great way to maintain your interest in stories and take some time to soothe your mind. It can improve your memory as well as help you maintain a sleeping pattern if you make it a routine. It is also a great hobby to keep you occupied.
There are a bunch of word games that you can either find online (like the addictive Wordle) or through special books that offer a range of options. You might also be able to find them in your local newspaper or a popular magazine.
Word games can help seniors retain memory and keep their brains active. Processing the words, making connections, finding patterns, retaining vocabulary and language and other such benefits can help seniors out.
It is also possible to play word games in group settings.
Chess is highly effective when it comes to maintaining an active brain, creating strategies, solving problems, maintaining focus and patience and using creative techniques.
Known for being an intellectual and strategy-based game, seniors can incorporate this game into their routines or simply play once in a while. Playing with other seniors can give them company and companionship as well, helping them communicate and build friendships.
You can also simply play chess online.
Card games are also great for social activities that can make things fun and interesting for the elderly. These card games can either be complex and dependent on strategies or they can be simpler and simply fun.
This can be a good way to keep your mind alert and form strategies while also figuring out what other players are doing and what patterns they are using.
Examples of games include bridge, poker, solitaire or even options like Monopoly Deal, Go Fish, Uno and more.
Number games like Bingo, Sudoku, math problems, logic puzzles, counting games, pattern games and more can help keep that part of their brains sharp and active, allowing them to retain their numerical awareness and brush up on it.
This can also go a long way in forming patterns and connections while also using strategy to solve the problem.
Some of these number games can also be played in group settings that can help establish friendships.
Memory games like this can also work if you want to make a conscious effort to keep your brain active and healthy. You can try maintaining lists of different objects and then try memorizing and repeating them.
Some other options can also include writing down and memorizing grocery lists. Reciting the days of the week or months of the year that can help move this process along.
You can also ask someone to help you out here.
Arts And Crafts
Taking part in arts and crafts and learning new skills can help considerably in allowing you or a senior around you to use and maintain their creativity. Listening to music, playing an instrument, drawing, painting, building something, creating structures, knitting, stitching, photography and other similar activities can help enhance memory, reasoning and engagement.
It is also a great way for you to use your brain for learning new things and figuring out ways to solve problems by carrying them out.
Crossword puzzles allow you to make use of your verbal memory to establish patterns and connections and maintain associations and prevent considerable memory decline.
While memory decline is natural and is likely to take place, solving such crossword puzzles can keep you alert and delay its onset.
You can also involve people around you to help. Recalling knowledge and information can help you find answers.
You can subscribe to popular newspapers and journals for such puzzles. The New York Times Crossword provides daily puzzles.
Learning A Language
Learning a new language, even as a senior, can be a good way to develop your verbal memory and build your own strategies and patterns when it comes to learning parts of the language.
It can be interesting and can also enhance your vocabulary, even if you do not end up seeing the entire process through. Do it with someone else to make it fun.
Playing trivia games and answering questions can be a social and fun way to keep your brain active. You will be required to recall several things, find patterns and solve problems, allowing you to rely on your memory and processing skills. This can help keep them sharp, especially if you carry them out regularly.
You can also work in a team and improve focus and cooperation.
Some games you can try out include Random Trivia Generator and Quiz Breaker.
There is a range of online activities that you can carry out now. You can also carry out most of the aforementioned activities online if you do not have a physical version of these.
Browsing things online, reading the news, staying up-to-date or even learning how to operate a phone or laptop (if unaware) can help considerably. Of course, you might have to limit this to maintain vision.
Physical exercise like stretching and taking walks can also improve cognition and mental health. Combining your other cognitive exercises with regular physical activities can be extremely helpful.
You can tag your friend or family member along for some stimulating conversation as well.
Brain Exercises For Seniors: Parting Thoughts
Those were some of the best and most effective brain exercises for seniors to try and carry out. It is clear that these activities can have numerous benefits when it comes to cognitive health and healthy aging, so make sure you fearlessly try a few of them out to enrich your lifestyle.