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Memory Exercises Seniors Are Using to Have Fun and Strengthen Brain Function

Jun 11, 2019

Memory Exercises Seniors Are Using to Have Fun and Strengthen Brain Function

Often times when we think of a healthy lifestyle and healthy living habits, we primarily focus on the body. While it’s important to take part in healthy habits for our physical health, like working out and eating a balanced diet, it’s just as important to pay attention to our mental health. Just like physical exercising that benefits your body and muscles, mental exercises also play a critical role in strengthening and maintaining overall brain functions.

To help keep your brain as limber and fit as your muscles and body, we’ve put together a list of a few cognitive activities and memory games for seniors.

Cognitive Memory Exercises for Seniors

Part of maintaining your overall health includes keeping your cognitive skills sharp through various activities which allow you to practice your critical thinking, speaking, reading, recalling memories, making sound judgments and learning. There are many simple cognitive activities for adults which can be done on a daily or weekly basis.

  • Thoughtful Conversations Conversations allow people to practice speaking, critical thinking and many other cognitive aspects which stimulate and refresh their mind. This is especially important for older adults as people tend to withdraw from social interaction as they age.
  • Meditation One of the best brain exercises for seniors is meditation. The reason for this is that meditation allows one to relax and focus on their thoughts and emotions. There are many free apps available that provide guided meditation for those unfamiliar with how to meditate. Omnava is one of the top free apps available and offers a whole library dedicated to different meditation techniques.
  • Art Classes Art is a great way to express one’s emotions and thoughts in a manner which practices hand-eye coordination and encourages a happier mood. Doing art activities, such as watercolor painting, allows the artist to self-reflect on their piece and the emotions which contributed to their creation. All of these benefits help keep your mind sharpened and your cognitive abilities strong.
  • Language Classes Practicing another language is a great way for seniors to practice their ability to speak, recall information and improve critical thinking. In fact, practicing languages is even said to help deter dementia in the elderly.
  • Nature Walks If you’re able to comfortably walk for long stretches at a time, nature walks are another great brain exercise for seniors. Leisurely nature walks are said to promote socialization, independence and feeling relaxed. This helps older adults feel connected to what is around them and to themselves. Keeping track of interesting landmarks and animals throughout your walk also helps keep your ability to recall details sharp.

Memory Games for Seniors

Brain games for seniors and games that rely on memory are a great choice for seniors to keep exercising their noggins! There are plenty of game options out there for seniors to choose from.

Memory Games for Seniors

  • Jigsaw Puzzles Traditional jigsaw puzzles are a popular option because they are easy to understand, simple to do and can be done over a long period of time. What is key about jigsaw puzzles is that they encourage one to use their spatial skills, ability to concentrate and creativity and their general problem-solving ability.
  • Sudoku For those looking to practice their ability to find and recognize patterns, Sudoku is a great choice. With easy-to-understand rules, Sudoku is all about finding patterns and using those patterns to solve problems. One’s intuition and judging abilities are practiced, and this is incredibly important for seniors.
  • Concentration Card Game Concentration, the card game where pairs of images are turned face-down and the player must match the pairs together, helps improve one’s ability to focus, recall details and make sound judgments based off of known information. It’s a simple game that only requires a deck of cards with images on them.
  • Word Games for Seniors What separates word games from memory games for seniors is how word games force the player to think outside the puzzle’s content itself and recall their knowledge to complete the puzzle. This is great for strengthening your ability to recall and associate.
  • Crosswords The beauty of crosswords as a tool to maintain cognitive health is that they only provide simple hints and the player must consider what knowledge they have and recall a possible answer for the puzzle. Even better, you can do crosswords with friends to practice critical thinking through discussions about what you found as answers for the possible.
  • Logic Puzzles Riddles and other such logic puzzles are also great word games for seniors. These sorts of puzzles provide hints in the puzzle themselves and require the player to combine known information with ideas that can be blended together into a plausible solution. This ability to associate ideas with solutions, connect recognizable patterns and remembering what information the puzzle provides are all great ways to maintain your cognitive abilities.

Applewood’s Engaged Living works with every resident to ensure they receive the best plans to keep busy and full of energy. Additionally, Applewood’s Active Vibrant Independent Living Community is active not only with residents’ physical health but finding interesting and fun ways to keep the mind healthy. More than just a retirement community, it encourages a lifestyle of maintaining your best health physically and mentally. Learn more about how you can be a lifelong learner at Applewood today!