Our last article detailed the benefits of stimulating the brain as we age and included two activities that are designed to do that. We at Carefect Home Care Services would like to provide a wide variety of brain boosting activities for our readers, in this article we will include some logic and sport based activities. If your loved one is interested in all of these activities, you can encourage them to try all of them and rotate their activity schedule so that they will be able to stimulate more areas of their brain.
Puzzles or logic games
Seniors who love puzzles or logic games will be glad to find out that puzzles are great for stimulating the brain. Sudoku has recently become very popular in many areas, and it is a great activity for increasing your brain activity. For those who have not heard of Sudoku, it is a number based game that does not involve any math, but does require some logic and reasoning. The basic idea of the game is to fill in the boxes with numbers 1 through 9 without having any repeats on a row or within the same 9 square box. There are various strategy guides available at bookstores for those who need extra help. You can print out Sudoku puzzles online or find books at the bookstore or even in the grocery store with the magazines at times. Jigsaw puzzles are another good way of stimulating the brain because they stimulate the part of the brain that controls spatial relations. If you are not interested in art, puzzles are a good substitute for stimulating the spatial relation area of the brain.
Board games are another great way to stimulate the brain as well as increase a senior’s social activity. There are plenty of board games that require logic and reasoning skills such as chess, checkers, and even more family friendly games like Monopoly or Scrabble. Scrabble provides double benefits by requiring seniors to think of and spell words out for points. Trivia games are another good option, and they can often be found as board games or card games depending on the game. Family caregivers can get the family together to play games with their loved one or look for other seniors to organize a game night with. Organizing a game night makes the work of stimulating the brain seem more like a fun activity rather than a chore. Family caregivers should keep in mind that it would be a lot easier to get their kids to sit down and play a game than it would be to get them to do homework, and adults are no different.
Physically fit seniors might enjoy playing sports to stimulate their brain. Playing sports such as table tennis, regular tennis, or badminton requires the use of hand-eye coordination, so your loved one can enjoy playing sports and improve their hand-eye coordination and reflex times while playing. Seniors with limited mobility can try video or computer games to boost their hand-eye coordination and reflex time. Many popular games out there now require fast response times as part of the game in order to get points, so you can check out the back cover of some of the games at the stores to get an idea of what the gameplay consists of. Wii Sports seems to be a popular game for all ages, and seniors can enjoy testing their response time by playing baseball or tennis in the game. Playing the games with a controller also requires a degree of hand-eye coordination because you have to watch the screen and know what button to press on the controller in order to complete the actions.
Lastly, seniors should be sure that they are reading on a regular basis. Reading is a simple activity that does not require any physical ability, so anyone who can read can do it. Reading books or the newspaper stimulates the memory because as you read the brain works to remember what you have read. When you read on a regular basis, the brain will constantly be working to try to form memories so that you will be able to remember the article or story you just read. As your brain works on those memories, you should find that you are able to remember other things better as well because the part of the brain that stores memories has been stimulated.
Family caregivers should do everything they can to make sure that their loved one is getting enough brain stimulation. If your loved one does not want to do these activities on their own, try looking for other seniors or a senior center where they can get involved with people their own age and do the activities as a group. Another option would be to hire a professional caregiver to assist your senior loved one with the brain boosting activities mentioned in this article. For more information please contact us at Carefect Home Care Services.