A published study in The New England Journal of Medicine discovered that people that are over 75 years of age, who perform brain training activities such as chess are likely to be in the safe area, away from developing dementia compared to their peers who do not play games. The research states that in the same way a muscle that is not exercised loses strength, the same happens to be brain tissue.
Games are a great way to exercise your mind especially as you age. Giving your brain a daily workout is the best way to keep it functioning at peak level. Memory games for seniors are fun to play and can even be another way to socialize with folks you love.
Check out these popular memory-boosting games you can add to your daily repertoire of fun:
Lumosity, an online subscription program, that offers over 50 cognitive games and a limited free version to try before buying. The paid version offers more brain training games and the opportunity to switch games if you don’t like the one you’re playing. You can also create a ‘favorite games’ list and play the game you like best whenever you want.
Besides memory, game categories include attention, flexibility, language, problem-solving, and speed. There are a variety of interesting games in each category and tutorials to walk a player through each new game. The program also keeps track of how well you’re doing in each category. You can also download Lumosity as an app on your phone (iOS or Android). www.luminosity.com
Scrabble is an excellent brain game that is both fun and challenging. The game helps with creativity, word finding, and spelling. Even better, Scrabble is social and is meant to be more fun when played with friends. You can play in person with friends or play anytime with the Scrabble GO! app. scrabble.hasbro.com/en-us
Chess is a classic board game that has been around for ages. It is a game that continually works your brain. Like a muscle, the brain needs to stay fit, regularly exercise, and avoid injury. Medical studies show that playing chess decreases the risk of dementia, as well as prevents its symptoms because playing chess develops brain functioning. This in turn greatly reduces the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Checkers, a modified version of the game with fewer pieces and simpler rules, is also a great option. Even better? Manufacturers make chess and checkers sets in many different shapes and styles, including larger versions specifically designed for older adults, who may have less fine vision and motor skills.
Memory games don’t have to be online or complicated in order to be effective. If you prefer paper and pencil, head to your local bookstore to grab a workbook of crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, word searches, or other brain games. While you are there, you can search for trivia cards or riddle books as well.
This perennially popular board game is always fun to play with grandchildren. You can improvise a version of Concentration with a deck of cards as explained in this video (which also includes a couple of other simple memory-boosting activities for seniors).
Card games will make you think on the spot while you’re having fun. Many seasoned folks grew up playing card games like spades, bid wiz, pitty-pat, old maid, rummy, the list goes on. Some folks may prefer more active, thoughtful games, like bridge or poker. For others, it may be more fun to play a more straightforward game, like blackjack or war. Or, look into alternative card games that go beyond the traditional deck, such as Uno.
Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to work on focus, concentration, and memory. They involve a lot of strategies, planning, problem-solving, and recall, without seeming stressful or overwhelming.