Exercising the mind to keep it active is just as important as maintaining physical fitness and strength in older age. Puzzles and games are not only interesting, sociable and fun, but can play an important role in helping older adults to improve memory and daily life skills, and promote good mental health and wellbeing.
Why keeping the mind active is good for the brain.
Games and puzzles exercise both sides of the brain simultaneously. Combining the logical left side of the brain with the more creative and intuitive right side provides a mental workout that can improve both problem solving skills, memory and attention span.
Stimulating the mind with tasks that involve colours, shapes, letters or numbers keeps boredom at bay and creates a feel good factor to boost mood. This can have a meditative and therapeutic effect which helps slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and ease restlessness and agitation.
Puzzles and games can bring people together with a common purpose, helping them to socialise, make friends and enjoy renewed enthusiasm for life.
Games to keep mind and body active
There are a huge range of games that can provide entertainment and fun in a care home setting. Here at The Gables Residential Home we plan a varied and fun programme of activities, which includes many of these favourites…
Puzzles – Word puzzles, jigsaws and quizzes all provide an enjoyable challenge that can get the brain buzzing and give the mind a work out. Even if not all of the conundrums in a puzzle are solved, simply having a go can make a big difference to brain health.
Number games – Sudoku, Bingo, Card games and Dominoes tend to be favourites and provide a great opportunity for people to come together, socialise and enjoy some friendly competitive rivalry!
Arts and Crafts activities – Whether or not someone has been an “arty” sort of person in the past, creative activities can prove both relaxing and satisfying, helping to ease anxiety and foster a sense of control making participants feel calmer and happier.
Interactive games -There are now lots of apps designed for older people to enjoy, ranging from really simple word-connection games to more complex apps that are useful to improve visual-spatial skills, problem solving and concentration.
Combined mental and physical exercise – Games that provide both physical and mental activity can be great fun. Regular exercise at an appropriate level can boost energy and reduce daytime tiredness.
Give us a ring on 01332 280106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the varied and fun programme of activities we offer our residents. Whether it’s helping them continue to engage with hobbies they already enjoy, or introducing them to something new, there’s always plenty going on!