By Maria Burke, RN, Owner, Celtic Angels Home Health Care
Staying mentally sharp is an important goal as we age. Thankfully, there are lots of fun ways to help you achieve that goal. Looking for a place to start? Try these eight games and activities that boost brain function.
- Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are wonderful because you can work on them over a long time, whenever you have a few minutes (or a few hours!). And they give your brain a great workout. It takes both hemispheres of your brain to focus on putting the pieces together to create a complete picture. And as a bonus, you can save and frame your handiwork if you love the finished puzzle.
Sudoku is excellent for improving your concentration and critical thinking skills. It consists of number puzzles in grid form. In order to solve the puzzle, you must figure out which number 1 through 9 goes in each square. And each number can only be used once. Your brain will benefit from the challenge!
- Crossword Puzzles
Crossword puzzles come in a variety of difficulty levels, so they’re a perfect choice for boosting your brain function. If a particular puzzle book seems too easy, opt for a more challenging one. Thinking critically and recalling information to solve the clues helps keep your brain in shape and can even help prevent or delay memory loss.
Scrabble is loads of fun, and it’s great for playing with friends and family. It helps you retain a strong vocabulary and even learn new words! Plus, you’ll use your math skills while tallying the points for each word. And because there is so much variety built into the game, it never feels repetitive or boring!
Chess is another terrific game to play with a partner. And all that strategizing really boosts your brain function. Chess requires critical thinking, memory, and focus, so it really puts your brain through its paces! And there’s even some evidence that playing chess helps protect people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90 years of age from developing dementia. So, who’s up for a game of chess?
- Pick Up a New Hobby
The best way to boost your brain’s function is to keep challenging it! And nothing does that better than learning a new skill. So, consider picking up a new hobby. Whether you have an interest in painting, photography, knitting, or Tai Chi, learning how to do new activities gives your brain exactly the challenge it needs.
Music engages our brains and helps forge connections between different areas of the brain. Try something as simple and enjoyable as listening to your favorite music actually boosts your brain function! But if you want to take your brain function to the next level, try learning to play a musical instrument. In addition to improving coordination, playing a musical instrument may help those over the age of 55 stave off cognitive decline.
Boosting your brain function doesn’t mean you always have to be thinking hard and solving problems. Giving your brain a chance to relax and restore its function is also important. That’s why meditating can be so beneficial. In fact, meditation is thought to help your brain process new information and even keep your brain younger. So, try adding meditation to your routine.
Need a little help with brain-boosting activities? We can do that! Whether you need a chess partner, transportation to a concert, or someone to read out clues to your crossword puzzle, Celtic Angels Home Health Care is happy to help.
Celtic Angels Home Health Care is a privately-owned Home Health Care Agency that was founded by Maria Burke, a Registered Nurse, who has worked in the home health care field for the majority of her career. Celtic Angels Home Health Care specializes in providing the highest level of personalized home health care services for seniors and those requiring in-home support.
Our team is dedicated to providing the customized program that will enable clients to reach their maximum level of health, comfort and function while remaining in their homes or residences. Our organization’s driving philosophy is to offer care that has been tailored to each client’s unique situation and to maintain a progressive and insightful approach in order to meet the health needs of our patients. For more information about our services, please visit www.celticangelsinc.com or call 781-331-0062.