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5 Mental Exercises Seniors Can Try to Stay Sharp

Posted by Frank Herold on January 18, 2021

Memory loss—both over time and as part of an ailment like dementia—is a part of life for many seniors. It can be a scary and traumatic experience, so it's natural for someone to look for ways to mitigate this condition and keep their mental faculties working as well as possible. While there's no surefire cure for memory loss out there yet, these five mental exercises seniors can try will help them stay sharp well into their twilight years.

Related Blog: 5 Ways Gardening Helps Seniors

1. Sudoku Puzzles

Quite a bit has been written on the relationship between Sudoku puzzles and preventing mental decline. Sudoku keeps the brain activated and exercises the parts responsible for reasoning and organization. 

Memory is also a major factor here given how much memorizing the potential locations for numbers plays a part in the game. Solving puzzles each day can help to stave off problems related to an aging brain similar to how stretching regularly can help keep joints and muscles working well.

2. Crossword Puzzles

Many of the same studies done on Sudoku were also conducted with crosswords with similar methodology across the board. This research found many of the same benefits were present in those who frequently solved crossword puzzles. 

There's also the consideration that crossword puzzles in specific will help keep your vocabulary sharp and force you to remember words and phrases you might otherwise be about to forget, plus learn some new ones with particularly challenging puzzles. 

If the numbers game isn't really your style, this might be just the thing you've been looking for instead.

3. Reading

Keeping your brain engaged and mind active is a good way to preserve your memory. As such, reading is a great activity to keep your mind working right. 

Based on a 2013 study, reading (particularly fiction books) is good for your brain's overall functioning and promotes neural engagement. It also specifies that it's more effective at doing so than just watching TV, likely because of the more active nature of reading as opposed to the passive act of watching a television program. 

For some added fun, try to quiz yourself on the book when you're done and analyze things like the theme and story. This is good for your memory and can help you to have a greater appreciation for the book itself.

4. Crafts

For the most part, simply engaging your senses can be a good way to promote brain functionality. With this in mind, crafts can be a simple and fairly easy way to do this. Things like drawing, knitting, pottery, painting, and more are all good ways to have fun, but they also help preserve your ability to recognize patterns and fine motor skills. 

Patterns are a big part of this when it comes to memory, as keeping the patterns for something like a quilt or knitted item in mind as you work is a good way to stay engaged. Even doing things in a more passive manner as you watch TV or the like can have some benefits.

5. Chess

Chess is one of the oldest strategy games in existence and a perfect way to keep your instincts, memory, logical reasoning, and imagination sharp. There's a whole host of brain benefits science has found in chess players. 

On top of all of that, it's just plenty of fun, too. Thanks to computers, it's even easier to find an opponent now, whether it be someone on the other side of a screen or the computer itself.

Memory loss and mental decline are never something you want to endure, so keep your mind in top form with these five fun and effective mental exercises. For more information on Cadbury Park and our memory car services and programs, contact us today.

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