Anti-aging brain games for adults that keep you sharp and active
Growing old and getting wrinkles is inevitable, but there’s heaps of things you can do to keep your mind active and young for longer.
Playing brain games for adults is one of the best ways to do just that.
Brain stimulating puzzles and memory games for adults have long been known to have massive health benefits. They help keep your mind active, your memory sharp, and even prevent you from aging early and losing control over your life.
Games for young and middle-aged adults also improve the quality of life of seniors and the elderly. Brain stimulating games are proven to delay dementia by keeping the minds active, allowing you to live the life you want for longer, or spend more quality time with your senior relatives.
Promoting healthy minds is not only critical for aged carers or community support workers. Any adult who wants to age healthy and stay active in life or is caring for a parent should know the best activities to help keep their minds active and sharp.
Playing the following anti-aging brain games for adults is a simple but highly effective place to start:
Why is it important for your to keep your mind active?
Just imagine not using your legs for a year. You wouldn’t even bother trying to walk! Even standing up without wobbling and falling over a couple of times would be a major feat.
The brain is no different.
The less you exercise your memory and other thinking skills, the quicker and sooner you lose them!
Conversely, the more you engage in stimulating activities like games, exercise, reading, and listening or playing music, the more your brain is protected from memory loss, slow thinking, and even diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Doctors have proven that mentally-stimulating activities greatly enhance the brain’s functions even when there is brain damage associated with dementia. This drastically reduces the total amount of time a person may suffer from diseases like Alzheimer’s, by delaying them from starting.
Brain training and mental exercises have several other scientifically-proven benefits for adults of all ages including:
- Faster processing of sounds
- Better memory
- Better visual perception
- Cuts chance of developing dementia in half!
- Increased awareness and attention
This means that:
- If you are an adult, brain workouts allow you to stay active and live your life longer
- If you are caring for your parent , playing simple games allow you to spend more quality time with them because their mind will stay sharp, and they will literally, live longer.
- If you are an aged carer or individual support worker, you can service your clients better and give them a better quality of life.
So… what memory games, mind training games and cognitive games for adults are will keep you ‘sharp’ and young?
The following mental games and puzzles are beneficial to adults of all ages. Try these out today to strengthen your thinking skills and help yourself age better.
1. Crossword and Word-Search Puzzles
Ideal for: ALL adults who want to retain their mental faculties – including memory, oral, and visual skills!
Materials needed: Pens and sheets of word puzzles
Why it Works:
Crosswords and similar puzzles like word searches are great for improving your thinking skills such as memory, awareness, and perception. They exercise your brain by challenging you to recognise and recall words and concepts and bring them together to form a concrete answer.
Puzzles like these stimulate your mind and exercise the basic skills you need everyday, allowing you to retain them longer as you grow older.
Furthermore, research has shown that engaging with puzzles are particularly effective in preventing memory decline, and can delay dementia by up to 2 ½ years! As such, whether it be you, your parent, or an aged client, completing puzzles can dramatically enhance one’s life, and promote successful aging.
So why not grab a paper or book from your local book store and ‘have a crack’ today?
Ideal for: Adults of all ages wanting to prevent early onset of dementia
Materials needed: Pens and sheets of sudoku puzzles
Why it Works:
Completing difficult puzzles exercises your problem solving and critical thinking skills. This a great mental workout that keeps you, and your relatives or aged care clients sharp. These are advanced skills that exercise a variety of your mind’s functions that can be vulnerable when you age prematurely.
Sudoku, a single player puzzle game, is a great way to train these skills. Although it is often used with numbers, you can create your own puzzle by replacing them with pictures, colors or other figures depending on your requirements. Difficulty is also easy to adjust by giving more clues and reducing the number of blanks that need to be filled.
You can learn how to play and solve sudoku through this short video: https://youtu.be/iKcOA9LZD20
3. Board and Parlour Games
Ideal for: Adults of all ages who prefer social interaction when playing
Materials Needed: Your board game of choice
Why it Works:
Board games are popular activities for both adults and seniors because they encourage you to plan, follow instructions and complete a task to reach a goal, while playing with other people. These are all exercises proven to keep your brain activity levels up, which is critical to sharpen your mind and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Board games that are known to be effective include chess, draughts, card games and other parlour games.
The value of board games comes partly from the sense of accomplishment they give when you make little achievements and from the opportunity to interact with people of different ages. Remember to also focus on the process – not just whether they win or lose – as the most important thing is to make your aged client feel useful and not alone.
4. Lumosity Internet, iPhone or Android Games
Ideal for: Adults of all ages who prefer visually stimulating materials
Resources needed: A tablet, smartphone, or computer
Why it Works:
Video games aren’t just for kids any more. Modern technology has created a huge range of new tools that promote healthy aging. These include video games that are specifically created to exercise your mind and keep it sharp and active.
Lumosity is one of the top free brain training apps today. It features a wide variety of quick, colorful, and easy to follow games that can be played on any tablet, computer, or smartphone you have. These are all presented in a simple manner with on-screen instructions that are easy to understand and explain. You can even choose to practice specific skills including memory, visual processing, and problem solving.
The following games can be played by all adults and give extra health benefits to seniors and the aged. If you are caring for an elderly relative or client, these activities help you exercise their thinking skills and improve their mental health.
5. Bridge (card game)
Ideal for: Adults of all ages who can benefit from socialising and active thinking
Materials needed: A standard deck of cards
Why it Works:
Card games are some of the oldest past times we have today, and they are still as engaging as ever, particularly for the elderly.
Bridge is a game of strategy and friendly competition. This makes for a great mind exercise because it gives you the benefits of being socially and mentally stimulated.
Bridge-playing adults also receive the cognitive boost from staying socially connected.
It makes them think about their next move, and they have to communicate with one another as part of the game. This is particularly important for the elderly since seniors who who have larger social support groups feel less lonely, and can reduce their risk of developing dementia by more than 50%.
It’s fair to say that bridge is both a mentally and socially stimulating activity, making it ideal for healthy aging. Even if your relative or client has a physical disability or a mild visual or hearing impairment, they can still participate and reap the benefits.
6. Picture Matching Memory Games
Ideal for: Elderly adults or those exhibiting symptoms of dementia
Materials needed: A set of cards, flashcards, or printed pictures with pairs of illustrations
Why it Works:
Memory improvement games like picture matching are simple ways to exercise and improve brain function, visual processing, and concentration. You can even adjust the rules and the tools you use to make it appropriate to your relative’s or clients’ abilities.
For example, you can start by simply laying out 3 cards or pictures and asking them to spot the different card. You can increase the difficulty and test their memory and concentration by adding more sets of cards, flipping them face down, and instructing them to find pairs of similar cards.
Remember to observe how they are doing, because they may become frustrated and lost interest if it takes them a long time to find correct pairs. Provide moral support and be ready to make adjustments if you notice signs of distress.
Ideal for: Adults of all ages, particularly for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients
Resources needed: Bingo cards
Why it Works:
Bingo has been proven to be highly therapeutic for senior adults with cognitive disorders, including those with dementia. Alertness and a heightened awareness of their surroundings are some of the mental abilities known to improve from playing bingo.
Besides from its health benefits, the popularity of bingo is partly due to its flexibility. The standard numbered cards can be replaced with names or pictures of animals, food, body parts or any other figures to stimulate specific memory and thought processes.
It can be played in both small and large groups, with children or adults, or even just between you and your relative or client, making it a highly social activity.
8. Name That Tune
Ideal for: Adults of all ages, particularly for dementia patients
Resources needed: A music player with a playlist of familiar songs to your audience’s age group
Why it Works:
Music is known to stimulate and soothe senior adults that are showing symptoms of dementia. Playing music has remarkable effects such as unlocking memories and reaching parts of the brain that other training and treatment methods have difficulty activating.
It makes sense that pairing music with simple memory exercises, such as asking them to name the title or the artist of songs familiar to them, can lighten their mood and improve their thinking skills at the same time. Putting seniors in a better state of mind can help make your other games and activities more successful.
Summary: Games and Sharp Adult Minds
Games and mentally stimulating activities are critical if you want to maintain a young and active mind.
As a young or middle-aged adult, brain games help you stay active and keep your memory and other thinking skills sharp. After all, we all want to stay in control of our lives for longer so we can continue pursuing our goals and enjoying life to the fullest.
For seniors and the aged, mind exercises help prevent and slow down dementia to improve their quality of living. This gives your elderly parents or relatives a higher quality of life and allows you to spend more quality time with them.
Board and card games, word puzzles, bingo, memory games, and even video games are some excellent activities that research has repeatedly shown to help adults age better and more successfully.
You can easily organise and customise many of these brain stimulating games to fit your own needs – either to exercise your own cognitive abilities, or to help your senior relatives or clients enjoy a high quality of life.
The best part is, it’s ridiculously easy to start playing these games for yourself! So why not try out the crossword in your community paper, reach for that sudoku puzzle book, or even play a round of bridge with your friends? It will be fun and you could add many more fulfilling and happy years to your life!
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