People love puzzles. We love games and activities that challenge the mind and force oneself to think upside down, backwards, and around corners because of the challenge and the sense of victory solving a puzzle provides. There are few feelings sweeter than finally putting the last piece into place and seeing the solution you’ve spent minutes, hours, or even days working toward. But puzzles and brain teasers and games are more than just a fun daily activity, they are valuable way to help keep the brain active and healthy as seniors age, and help stave off some of the memory-loss conditions that can crop up as we enter and move through our golden years.
Card Games to Train Your Brain
When it comes to brain games that hit that perfect center-mark on the axes of fun and challenging, it is hard to do better than some of the classic card games you have spent your life enjoying with family and friends. Consider a few hands of Bridge. The best card games are those that demand memory, strategy, and attentiveness, and that's Bridge. It requires logic, patience, quick thinking, and partnership skills, and, since Bridge also involves at least 4 people, the social aspect of the game cannot be forgotten either.
Or there’s Gin Rummy—a simpler game than Bridge, but one that requires a stronger sense of memory to secure a win. Or a few hands of poker where you work out the part of your brain that thrives on inference, understanding, and calculated risks. The nature of the deck of cards lends itself to many games that give the brain a good workout while still being a fun and exciting way to spend the day.
Board Games and Classic Puzzles
Board games like checkers, chess, and dominoes are all classic board games that almost everyone knows, and finding one or more people to play with shouldn’t be hard at all. All of these games prove great options for training the brain and keeping it active through their spatial pattern recognition, planning, and necessary problem-solving.
Additionally, classic puzzles such as crosswords, word searches, jigsaw puzzles, and Sudoku operate in a similar fashion, challenging our abilities for recall, spatial patterns, planning, and problem-solving while still being a good way to have a fun and enjoyable afternoon either by one’s self or in a group.
Overall, the benefit of brain teasers, brain games, puzzles, board games, card games, and more are readily apparent when seniors begin to engage both their mental and social muscles through these mind-bending activities.
What We Do At Pacifica Senior Living
At Pacifica Senior Living, we understand these benefits and it’s why all of our communities feature these kinds of games and activities for our residents as a part of the Montessori-based methods we use in our award-winning LegaciesTM Memory Care program. By focusing on the abilities our residents express in successful tasks, we can adapt the context of the games and puzzles so they can remain successful while still enjoying the game. We always turn an eye toward what our residents are able to do rather than what they cannot, and tailor their activities toward bolstering these still-strong abilities they possess.
If you would like to learn more about the kinds of brain games we play, and the kinds of therapies we offer in our Memory Care programs here at Pacifica Senior Living, please click here and find the community that is right for you. We look forward to meeting our new neighbor.