Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body. It improves concentration, prevents cognitive decline, and boosts memory, among many other benefits. Make games part of senior care to help the older loved ones in your life stay mentally sharp or help slow symptoms related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Here are five of the best activities that combine intellectual stimulation with entertainment.
5 Best Games for Senior Care
1. Jigsaw Puzzles
Provide colorful jigsaw puzzles your older loved one can enjoy working on alone or with friends and family. These puzzles engage short-term memory because you have to remember what colors and shapes fit together to recreate the image on the game box. Even small successes, like clicking each piece correctly into place, help stimulate dopamine production, improving both mood and concentration.
2. Trivia Games
Have a blast playing trivia games together. Best played in groups for more exciting games as well as socialization benefits, trivia games require recalling facts about history, geography, pop culture, and music. Having to review these topics will help your elderly loved one retain information.
Encourage your older loved one to play sudoku, a popular logic game requiring the player to recognize and fill in number patterns following simple rules on nine-space grids. You can purchase hard-copy and large-print sudoku books, print off free puzzles from the internet, or let your loved one play them on a tablet or other device.
4. Video Games
Play any number of video games as part of senior care. While they may need a little time to get used to unfamiliar controls, many elders enjoy these activities, especially when their grandchildren or other relatives help them out. Some consoles even include physical movements that will provide the benefits of exercise, including improved recall. Classic puzzles are available in video formats. Many fantasy games will require your loved one to remember the locations of tools and treasures, narrative events, and in-game logical challenges.
A time-tested classic, chess stimulates short-term memory every time your loved one plans their next move – or visualizes yours. If you play the same chess game over several days, it can also stimulate long-term memory, because they must remember strategies from the previous day.
If it’s time for more in-depth senior care, work with the compassionate caregivers at Visiting Angels Toms River. The home care service provides seniors throughout Ocean County, NJ with a wide range of services, including meal preparation, housekeeping, medication monitoring, and companionship. Call (732) 240-1050 or visit the website today to learn more about their offerings.