Mind Stimulating Activities & Cognitive Games for Seniors

Mind Stimulating Activities & Cognitive Games for Seniors

Just as physical exercise strengthens and trains our bodies, cognitive training and exercise stimulates the brain, helping it grow and develop new connections as we age. The more we challenge the mind (through various forms of mental exercise), the better it is at processing information.

As family caregivers, we want to be sure our loved ones remain healthy in every aspect – including their mental health.

6 Mind Stimulating Activities & Cognitive Games for Seniors

The following mind stimulating activities provide ways to keep seniors sharp, helping to improve memory, problem-solving, creativity, and other cognitive functions.

1. Puzzles & Word Games

Puzzles and word games (such as crosswords, Sudoku, word search, etc.) serve as effective and fun ways to engage the mind. For seniors, puzzles help to improve memory, word recall and other functions in the brain.

Caregiver Tip: Encourage your loved one or patient to complete crossword puzzles found in the daily newspaper, or pick one up from the store. This type of cognitive activity provides entertainment and also keeps the mind active and sharp!

2. Card Games

Simple card games such as Poker, Solitaire, Go Fish and Memory Match can help to improve cognitive function in seniors. Card games stimulate parts of the brain responsible for logical problem-solving and memory retention, along with other functions.

Caregiver Tip: Play card games with your loved one or patient after dinner to keep their mind sharp.

3. Chess & Strategy Games

Strategy games such as checkers and chess stimulate multiple parts of the brain and are widely used for educational purposes.

One study believes chess provides the following benefits:

  • Likely to raise an individual’s IQ
  • Helps to prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
  • Exercises both sides of the brain
  • Increases creativity
  • Improves memory, concentration, problem-solving, reading, and decision-making skills

4. Reading

Enjoying a good novel, reading an article on the web, or catching up with the daily news not only keeps seniors informed and entertained, but it helps to improve a variety of cognitive functions.

Reading sparks imagination and forces the brain to create images to match the words written on paper, making it one of the most entertaining and effective ways to exercise the brain.

Caregiver Tip: Recommend a good novel for your loved one or patient to curl up with before bed.

5. Activities Involving the Use of Hands

Activities that focus on hand-eye coordination and creativity such as knitting, sewing, playing an instrument and even video games help seniors exercise the brain.

Caregiver Tip: Consider using a video game console for your patient or senior family member.

6. Physical Exercise & Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital for improving your memory. Just as our muscles need exercise to grow, so do our brains.

Aside from eating healthy, getting a sufficient amount of sleep, and maintaining stress levels, it’s important to remain physically active.

For seniors with limited mobility, there are still many ways to stay active and keep the heart rate up, whether it’s walking, light gardening, housekeeping, stretching or even meditation.

Exercise releases endorphins in the brain and has also been shown to improve one’s mood, vitality, alertness and overall feelings of well-being.

Related articles:
The Benefits of Group Exercise Classes for Seniors
Best Exercises for Seniors

Contact Sonas for Home Health Care Services

Keeping loved ones active and healthy (both physically and mentally) is imperative, but for busy family caregivers, it’s not always easy.

Since 1992, Sonas Home Health Care has specialized in providing quality, cost-conscious home health care services for clients in their homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

For more information about our services, including companion and respite care, Contact us directly or request a free in-home assessment.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring home health care services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care today. (888) 592-5855.