Challenging our cognitive abilities is something we should do at every stage of our lives. However, building better memory function is even more important in our older adult years. Brain and memory conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia may be prevented or dramatically slowed down when incorporating regular brain exercises into our daily routine.
Improving brain and memory capabilities is associated with multiple lifestyle factors including proper diet, exercise, and engaging in mental problem-solving puzzles. Today’s blog will focus on strengthening cognitive abilities through specific games that seniors can access.
Brain Plasticity and Memory Improvement
Thanks to neuroscientific research — brain plasticity has become more well-known among the general population. When we understand the brain’s unique ability to grow by the formation and reinforcement of building new neural connections, learning and solving challenging problems becomes fun and not something to dread.
In Dr. Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset—The New Psychology of Success, she explains how brain research shows that individuals who practice challenging math problems or other learning hurdles, form and reinforce stronger neural connections than those who avoid solving problems or quit soon after starting. It’s a matter of perspective for the person facing the challenge. Their brain will either benefit and become strengthened as a result or neglect to grow altogether.
Memory Improving Games for Older Adults
These games are just some of the great ways to engage in brain and memory-improving exercises.
Trivia – All types of trivia are beneficial for short-term and long-term memory processing. However, timed trivia responses help increase the brain’s ability to gather information faster. This decreases the gap between a trigger to recall and successfully gathering that information. Pressuring the brain to recall things under a time limit, helps expedite information recall for the individual and strengthens the memory connections overall.
Overall, trivia makes memory recall and response time habitually faster when seniors play on a regular basis.
Check out these popular trivia options for seniors.
Memory boosting apps – More and more seniors have access to iPads or tablets making it easier to open up a memory boosting app. Just as the saying goes, “There’s an app for that.”, app developers have created specialized apps for improving the brain’s cognitive function.
Brain training apps are shown to improve:
- Concentration longevity
- Visual-spatial skills
- Rapid problem solving
- Logic and reasoning
- Pattern identification
- Memory recall
Brain exercising apps are convenient when someone doesn’t have a partner to play trivia with or wants to change it up. It’s also a portable tool to use while waiting in a waiting room or filling in spare time.
Some common brain training apps include:
Chess – The classic game of chess is a timeless treasure for improving our minds. It’s designed to challenge players to think multiple steps ahead, utilizing logical reasoning. Chess is a great way to improve strategic problem-solving abilities and can be done online when there’s no other player available. Plus, it’s been shown to improve IQ and overall focus.
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Better health and healing are possible with the right professional oversight and daily nutrition. At South Coast Post Acute, we deliver the services needed to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization.
South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations combine to bring you the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Southern California’s leading post-acute provider.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help on your journey back to restored health.