5 Ways Brain Games and Active Learning Benefit Seniors

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While there isn’t a cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s yet, studies indicate there may be a link between brain games and improving cognitive activities. The research may be inconclusive, but more medical experts are recommending brain games to slow down or prevent senior memory loss. Just as physical exercise keeps your body in shape, certain games and puzzles can keep your brain active and healthy.

You may be wondering what’s categorized as a brain game when purchasing gifts for aging loved ones. Chess, checkers, Scrabble, word puzzles, playing cards, memory and matching card games, and trivia games that force you to recall names, dates, people, places, and other factoids are all great ways to flex your brain muscles. Read on to learn about five ways brain games and active learning benefit seniors.

1. Brain games help slow down age-related mental decline.

Many seniors experience an age-related mental decline with slower reaction times, diminished vocabulary, and a memory that isn’t as sharp as it used to be. This is all par for the course of living a long, happy life. However, brain games and active learning can help reengage and improve a person’s thinking skills. It’s especially helpful if you vary the games played to promote learning new skills, words, or trivia facts.

 2. Brain games help seniors stay connected with loved ones.

Wondering what to do with an aging loved one in your care? Try playing a brain game the whole family can enjoy. Not only will you be giving their brain health a boost, but you’ll also get the chance to connect with your loved one in a meaningful way. You can include a wider network of friends and family by connecting through a video chat app on your smartphone or tablet while playing online brain games.

3. Brain games can help alleviate senior stress and anxiety.

Finishing a crossword puzzle or playing a board game can help ease feelings of stress or anxiety. Playing games is good for the mind and soul, as it keeps people socially active with friends, family, or others in their community. Being more social helps eliminate or reduce the feelings of loneliness or depression many seniors face. Who couldn’t benefit from a boost in their brain health, mood, and social skills?

4. Mastering new skills or games makes seniors feel engaged.

You’re never too old to learn a new skill or master a new game. Finding new hobbies as we age is essential to our mental and physical health. If quilting, gardening, or photography aren’t quite your senior loved one’s speed, consider helping them master a new language through the many learning apps on your smartphone or tablet. You can also try your hand at helping them learn a new brain game. Staying in a routine encourages passive brain participation. If we never push our boundaries and develop new cognitive skills, we may start to feel a disconnect with the world around us.

5. Learning and playing games will keep you young at heart.

If you want to stay young at heart, the secret is finding new ways to test your cognitive abilities. It’s incredible how games that encourage active learning can make people feel younger and smarter while combating the feelings of boredom, restlessness, or isolation plaguing today’s seniors. Whether it’s an online version of Jeopardy! or a simple game of match the cards, you can’t go wrong with games.

6. BrightStar Care® offers around-the-clock in-home senior care

With locally owned and operated agencies across the United States, BrightStar Care® is one of the country’s leading providers of in-home senior care. We employ nurses, CNAs, and caregivers to deliver a higher standard of care and nothing less in the comfort of familiar surroundings. Please reach out to us for additional insights about improving brain health for seniors!