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Free Brain Games for Seniors
We all know the benefits of physical exercise and making sure our bodies stay fit, but did you know that our brains need a workout too?
We are all aware that our body grows weak as we get older, and our ability to exercise and be active diminishes; many physical ailments that individuals face as they get older can be avoided by exercising regularly and leading an active lifestyle.
Our brain gets older the same way our body does; many older adults face issues with their memory or may find it taxing to do mental tasks that they could do with ease when they were younger. Playing brain games is a great way to exercise your brain and keep it young!
Before we delve into some of the best brain games for seniors, it is important to understand the effects of aging on the brain:
How Does Aging Affect the Brain?
As you get older, you are bound to experience changes in all parts of your body, including the brain. Here are some of the effects aging has on the brain:
- As the brain ages, certain parts of it shrink, including those areas vital to learning and performing complex mental activities.
- As the brain gets older, it faces increased inflammation
- The brain may receive a reduced blood flow
- Communication between brain neurons/nerve cells may not be as good
All of these changes in the brain can make it difficult to:
- Learn something new, like a new language or skill
- Recalling numbers and names, such as phone numbers and names of important family members and emergency contacts
- Remembering appointments and scheduled events, such as doctor’s appointments or meetings with friends
- Multitask, such as cooking and cleaning at the same time
As you get older, you might want to take up learning a new skill, but because of your aging brain, it might be difficult for you to do so. However, what if we told you there was a way to make sure your brain stays safe from these effects of aging?
Playing brain games can be a great way to strengthen your cognitive and mental abilities – they can be helpful to make your memory a lot stronger. Brain games can help seniors remember important information, such as doctor’s appointments. This can work on short term and long term memory. Brain games are a great way to maintain brain health. Check out the best free brain games below.
The Best Brain Games for Seniors
Brain games can either be played online, on an app, or physically. Both options are great and accessible for most older adults. Here is a list of some of the best brain games for seniors:
Word puzzles such as crosswords are a great way to improve memory retention by helping the brain form and maintain connections (as all words in the crossword puzzle are related to each other).
Such puzzles involve both the left and right sides of the brain, including creative thinking and logical reasoning skills. Crossword puzzles also help seniors recall and remember various vocabulary terms they do not use regularly.
If done casually, word puzzles such as crossword puzzles can be a relaxing and good daily activity. They can be easily accessed in newspapers, but there are also several crossword puzzle apps out there that you can download on your phone.
These puzzles can be done alone, or you could bring friends and family together to help you solve them!
Sudoku is a number puzzle that involves the individual inserting the numbers one to nine in a grid in such a way that every number appears once in each vertical line, horizontal line, and square.
Sudoku is a great way to improve memory. It involves logic and strategic thinking as you are forced to connect with each vertical and horizontal line. The game helps you improve your concentration and ability to make quick decisions.
However, Sudoku can be a tough game to crack! Once you finish the puzzle, you will have a great sense of achievement and concentration.
Sudoku can be done as a pencil puzzle – most newspapers have these puzzles, or you could purchase a Sudoku activity book. There are also several free online apps that you can download onto your phone so that you can play Sudoku anytime, anywhere!
Concentration is a card game that is best played with grandchildren, family, or friends!
It involves laying a deck of cards on a surface; take a few minutes to scan each card and memorize their placement, then flip them all face-down. The game requires you to make matching pairs of cards by trying to remember which card is placed where.
These memory games can help to stimulate memory and forces you to try and recall information – it is a great group activity and can also help you form connections with family and friends, which is also great for cognitive health!
Luminosity is a brain training app with a subscription program. The app does offer a free version when you first download it, but you will have to pay to continue use after a while.
The brain games on the app vary in their focus; there are games for language, flexibility, problem-solving, memory, and speed. Each category has a variety of games, which helps to keep things interesting and fun.
The app sends you a daily reminder to play the games. You can select your favorite games and play whenever you want!
Although the app is a paid subscription, it offers you the convenience of playing several different types of games, all targeting different aspects of cognitive health, whenever you like! With the app, brain training is at the tips of your fingers!
Free Brain Games For Seniors: Luminosity
Trivia quizzes are a great way to recall old information that you might be interested in and are great brain training games. Trivia quizzes can be made into a group activity by having a ‘Trivia Night’; this creates some competitiveness and can enable you to have some fun!
Trivia quizzes are great for memory recall as you try and think about past information – the quizzes can be customized to your interests. They could be about movies, food, literature, history, current affairs, and general knowledge!
Arrange a trivia night with your friends; arrange some snacks and good music, and you are set to have a blast!
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are a great way to bring out your creativity and come up with ideas to put out on paper. Arts and crafts encourage you to use your imagination and also focus on using your hands, which helps with agility.
You can turn arts and crafts into a group activity, or you could turn it into a solitary activity for some alone time. Getting your creativity out can be relaxing; you can use arts and crafts to channel out your anxiety and negative emotions, which is also great for mental and cognitive health.
Arts and crafts are not just limited to painting and drawing (which are also good options) but can also include knitting, crocheting, making beaded bracelets, designing greeting cards, and scrapbooking.
Learning a New Language
Although learning a new language gets harder as you get older, it can be a great way to stimulate your brain while learning something new!
Learning a new language can be challenging on the brain and can even seem like an extremely daunting task, but it is actually the best type of brain game to protect your brain from the effects of aging.
Think about a language you have always wanted to speak and explore some introductory phrases and words. If you are interested enough, take on the task of learning it!
You can learn languages through online classes, apps such as Duolingo, books, or sign up for a language class near you! Learning languages is a great way to add to your skill set while ensuring that your cognitive health stays in great shape!
Free Brain Games For Seniors: New Languages
Chess is known as the ‘Game of Strategy’ and is a great way to strengthen your logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. The game can seem complicated at first, but practice can help you get better!
Those that play chess have been seen to have improved IQ and better focus. You can play and practice chess with a friend or loved one and get better at the game together!
Jigsaw puzzles remain a simple but tried and true activity to stimulate the brain. If you are the kind of person who is always anxious, jigsaw puzzles are a great way to take things slow and solve things on your own time.
Puzzles force you to organize and rearrange shapes and information, which can help with spacial memory and your ability to organize information in your head.
Brain Health Matters
No matter what kind of brain game you choose, what is more important is that you do one! We tend to disregard cognitive and mental health over physical health, but it is important to acknowledge that both are equally as important. The brain games mentioned above are a great way to stimulate cognitive health and keep your brain healthy!
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