We are all aware that as we age our bodies become frailer. Physical conditions such as arthritis can take hold and it is common for mobility to become limited. We know the importance of working out to keep our body at its best, but aging not only affects our physical capabilities, but also our mental ability. The brain needs exercise to stay sharp and function at its peak, but you don’t need a gym membership to get it working. Why not try these fun ways to keep your elderly relative’s brain active?
Jigsaw puzzles have long been popular due to their calming nature, and they saw a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic. Benefits of puzzling include aiding memory, developing critical and lateral thinking, improving coordination and attention to detail, as well as producing the feel-good hormone dopamine. With companies now making jigsaws specifically designed for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, there is a jigsaw out there for everyone. Large pieces are most appropriate for older people who have poor eyesight or co-ordination.
If your loved one has good physical co-ordination and enjoys a challenge, brain training games on the computer can be a fantastic way to get them to engage. These are also fun, social activities that appeal to younger family members so are ideal for cross-generational bonding. Both PCs and games consoles have games that are specifically designed to increase brain function.
From crosswords to wordsearches and spot the difference to sudoku, puzzles are an effective way to stimulate the brain and help improve memory. With other advantages including helping problem solving and being an engaging activity, these traditional puzzles will keep your loved one entertained as well as improving their memory.
Popular children’s games can be a terrific way to keep an elderly relative’s brain active. Memory games such as Kim’s game are fun as well as helping to sharpen short term memory, with other favorites like ‘My grandma went to market’. The nostalgic element makes these games appealing to all ages – these old games are reminiscent of family parties of years gone by.
Talking about the past is not only comforting but a wonderful way to get your elderly relative’s brain working hard. Use photos or keepsakes as prompts and ask open-ended questions. Not only will you be helping your loved one, but you’ll also learn more about their life. You may find your family member struggles with this task or gets confused. If you have concerns about their memory, contact a specialist facility as you don’t need to struggle alone. Memory care St Louis can provide your loved one with the care and support they need.
These fun activities have the benefit of taking your relative back to their childhood with familiar games that challenge them to think without being pressurizing. Spend time as a family having fun times you can look back on fondly at the same time as strengthening your loved one’s memory!