Exercising the brain is just as important as exercising the body. Why not have a little fun with it by introducing your parent to some brain games she can participate in daily to make sure her mental acuity is staying strong? Try a nice variety of games. Some are great alone; some need a partner. Some are part of a purchased activity (like a game board), and some are simple mind or thought games. All can give your parent some additional mental stimulation (and hopefully, fun) to her week.
- Game Apps. If your parent has a smart phone, there are lots of apps she can put on her phone that contain games to stimulate the brain and its power of thinking, remembering, and solving. Apps like Luminosity provide multiple games for your parent to play or she can download a word game or games that solve puzzles using clues.
- Book Games. Going old school and purchasing a book of crossword puzzles or Sudoku puzzles might just be what your parent enjoys. She can bring the books with her anywhere, have a sharpened pencil, and be ready to entertain her brain with these games whether she’s riding the bus or waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
- Card Games. Whether she’s playing a game of solitaire alone, or playing a game of Hearts with her home care provider, card games make the brain plan for next moves, remember past moves and strategize. A game with a friend or home care provider also provides a great source of connection which boosts brain power.
- Board Games. Most board games require a group of people (or at least two) so if your parent has someone to play a board game with her such as yourself or her home care provider, why not break out the game of Monopoly or Connect Four to keep the brain sharp and engaged in the world around her?
- Puzzles. While not exactly a “game,” jigsaw puzzles are great for exercising your parent’s brain. Jigsaw puzzles are great for stimulating short-term memory in the brain as your parent works to sort out shapes and colors. It can also be a fun thing to invite a guest such as her home care provider to sit with her and work on the puzzle. If they want to get competitive and make it more of a game, they can have a race to see who will be the first to place five pieces.
- Strategy Games. Games like chess, checkers, and cribbage require strategy and thinking ahead to the next move. These games (especially chess) use the executive function of the brain as the players plan and strategize.
- Matching Games. Matching games are great for short-term memory and can be played alone or against a competitor.
- Vocabulary Games. Games like Scrabble or online versions of vocabulary games are an excellent way to help your parent learn new words as well as continue to use less common words.
The best brain exercise is to use multiple techniques to keep the brain active and alert. Games can be just one step in helping your parent’s brain maintain good health.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING HOMECARE IN SMITHFIELD, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.