Seniors enjoying mental exercises.

Mental Exercises And Cognitive Games For Seniors

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You can always help your senior loved ones improve their brain function and cognitive health. Age certainly plays a significant part in the decline of memory and other cognitive capabilities. However, there are proven ways to maintain and improve these capabilities at any age. If you are in search of ways to help your senior loved ones focus on their mental and cognitive health, the following information shared by professionals in assisted living communities and senior nursing homes can be useful.


Basics Of Cognitive Health 

Previously it was believed that the ability of the brain to learn and grow was finite, however, more recent studies show that that the human brain can continue to reorganize, adapt and make new pathways. It is now more evident that our brain can change and stay sharp well past the growing years. However, to have the full benefits of neuroplasticity, people should practice using their brains. Many scientists believe that some stimulating activities can protect the human brain by making a “cognitive reserve.”


Optimizing Neuroplasticity   

To help your senior loved ones optimize the health of their brain, you need to encourage them to take part in activities that help with cognitive stimulation. To introduce this kind of mental exercise in the lives of your senior loved ones, you can include exercises that focus on perception, attention, processing speed, memory, and reasoning capabilities. Exercises and games that focus on these specific areas of improving and maintaining the cognitive capabilities of seniors are very important to promote their mental health.


Exercises And Games For Cognitive Stimulation Of Seniors 

Shared below are some useful activities that you can work into the daily or weekly routine of your senior loved ones to keep their brains healthy and active.



Sudoku is a game that focuses on numeric patterns and can be great to stimulate the brains of seniors. Sudoku is accessible in varying difficulty levels and can be interesting for seniors who love mathematical games. It can be found on handheld digital devices or in print form.



Puzzles can easily help improve the mental capabilities of seniors and stimulate their brain function. Completing puzzles can help elderly people improve their problem-solving skills, pay attention to details and look for patterns. There are many different types of puzzles like jigsaw puzzles, word searches, crosswords, and memory games.


Board And Card Games 

Games played with cards can help seniors engagingly stimulate their brains. You can also use strategic games like checkers or chess that need the players to use reasoning to make the next move, anticipate the moves of the opponents, and develop a strategy.


Trivia Games 

Trivia games can be especially useful to seniors who would like to exercise their recall skills and engage with others. These games encourage them to recall facts that they have learned or past events in their lives. Trivia games that cover specific categories like movies, pop culture, TV shows, religion, or music can be especially helpful to stimulate memory.


Mobile And Computer Applications 

There are many downloadable cognitive applications available these days that can be used on handheld devices like mobile phones or tablets or computers. You can choose games that let you select the level of difficulty or complexity and hone in on specific cognitive capabilities like language, attention, memory, and reasoning.


Hobbies And Crafts 

As per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute on Aging, seniors who engage in meaningful hobbies say that they feel healthier and happier. Besides, learning new skills can improve the thinking capability of a person. As per the results of a study, seniors who learned digital photography, for instance, showed more memory improvement when compared to those who did less cognitively demanding activities. 

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