As we are fighting the aches and pains that age tends to bring, we cannot forget to exercise the most important organ in our body…our brains! As our brains age, some parts of it shrink and some parts expand. As these changes occur, our minds just don’t work like they used to, and the brain is the headquarters for every other part of our bodies!
All this means that it’s essential to keep our brains in shape or get them in shape if we find our mind, memory, cognitive ability is starting to slip a bit. The good news is, one of the best ways we have to keep that brain healthy is to PLAY! Try some of these options for fun and for brain health.
Sudoku – Not recommended if you don’t want a new “addiction”, Sudoku is available in traditional and online forms. This is a puzzle involving numbers, so if you like either, you will be hooked for life!
Chess – This is the ideal game to push your mind to its limits. It incorporates the use of critical thinking, visual/spacial skills, and memory. Chess is proven to improve IQ scores in children and keep brains active and healthy in seniors. An added plus is the buddy you develop in your playing partner!
Crossword and jigsaw puzzles – Solving puzzles helps to improve short-term memory. Physiologically speaking, the activity helps to strengthen the connections between our brain cells. Doing puzzles daily has proven to improve thought processes and mental speed.
Board games – ANY old board game will do! Studies show that those who play board games regularly have a 15% lower chance of developing dementia. Grab a grandchild, dust off Scrabble, or even Chutes and Ladders…playing does your mind good!
www.brainhq.com – If you’re up for a progressive workout, this one’s for you. This site offers a huge variety of choices that target independent parts of the mind. It offers a level that is free of charge or a paid membership, if you’re really ready to commit!
www.lumosity.com – This online program starts by putting you through a fitness test. Do you struggle with memory? Logic? Mental speed? Lumosity is a multi-level site that focuses on your specific strengthening needs then offers endless opportunities to grow your mind and have tons of fun.
Classic games – Combine the classics with technology, and you have a world of fun at your fingertips! Some favorites for seniors are Bubble Dragons, Wordle, and Shape Inlay. Of course, all the classics (Scrabble, Chess, Crossword Puzzles) are offered online as well!
Remember, it doesn’t matter WHAT you are playing as much as THAT you are playing. Parkview offers our residents a host of games and activities to keep the mind and body healthy. The more fun you have as a senior, the happier and healthier your mind will be!