You may notice when you spend time with an aging loved one that their memory is not as strong as it used to be. They start to act more forgetful and misplace things more frequently. Severe memory loss could be a sign of Alzheimer’s, however, some forgetfulness is common with aging. According to NCBI, 40% of those 65 and older in the U.S. have age-associated memory impairment, and 1% of them will progress to dementia each year. So whether it be a symptom of aging or a memory-related illness, there are ways you can slow down the process. Brain exercises are an excellent way to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, and they can be done through memory games and activities.
The ever-expanding internet provides a huge amount of memory games your loved one can play online. While technology is not everyone’s forte, certain online games are easy to access and simple to play. There are also some with multiplayer mode, so it can be made into a sociable activity that you could also take part in with your family member! Make sure to take a look at the online games before your loved one plays because those with high difficulty can frustrate your loved one.
Here are some online games listed by elder.org:
Trivia is a fun activity that can help stimulate your loved one’s mind. There are multiple categories and topics to choose from so whether it be testing their knowledge on musicals or current events, your elderly family member is educating themselves. They are not only exercising their brain but are also maintaining their knowledge of the ever-changing world.
Word puzzles have been used in classrooms to stimulate the students’ minds, and they’re a great way to exercise the brain of your loved one. There is a vast selection of word puzzles and games to choose from that can keep them entertained and their brain active.
Whether it be a crossword puzzle in the newspaper or a board game, here are some word games your loved one can play:
The game of bingo is a popular one amongst the elderly community and for good reason too. Not only does it encourage social interaction, but it also has health benefits. According to elder.org, bingo stimulates key senses such as hearing, sight, and touch. This is a great way for your loved one to stay engaged with others as well as exercise their brain.
The elderly who are retired can face their neural pathways becoming dormant. Logic puzzles can help stimulate these pathways through lateral thinking. Elder.org states logical puzzles were designed to test how you use the information provided to you. This can help your loved one exercise their brain by using their cognitive abilities to think outside the box. Sharp Brains provides some online brain teasers your family member can do.
Sudoku is another popular game among the elderly. It helps keep seniors’ minds sharp by allowing them to use parts of their brain they don’t normally use. Not only does it preserve their logical thinking abilities and keep them engaged, but it also gives them a great sense of accomplishment when completing a sudoku puzzle.
Exercising your brain is just as important as exercising your body, regardless of age. Through memory games and activities, you can help your loved one keep their brain active so they can have a lower risk of cognitive decline. Not only do these brain exercises benefit your loved one’s memory, they are also fun! With the pandemic causing those to be cooped up indoors, it’s a good idea to have a few games and activities lined up which can help your elderly family member stay productive and maintain a positive attitude.
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