According to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Dr. Katy Stubbs, dementia is not a predestined part of aging. Instead, evidence points out that as we keep our brain active all through our lives, it can help advance our cognitive reserve. Therefore, it allows our brains to withstand damage for longer even as we age. But as an older adult, how are you supposed to help keep your brain active? Here, we collected some of the top brain exercise routines for seniors.
1. Crossword puzzles
Crossword puzzles do not only prevent seniors from being bored. In a crossword puzzle, you are using your verbal memory as you try to find words that will match the letters you have in hand. It, subsequently, helps lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia as it improves your cognitive reserve (Harvard Health Publishing as cited in Saunders House, 2021). A study by the University of Exeter and King’s College London researchers (cited in MarketWatch, 2019) revealed that those who worked on puzzles more than once each day had brain functions that were 10 years younger.
You can also try jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, word searches, and vocabulary games other than crossword puzzles.
2. Trivia games
Trivia games are fun, especially if you play them with your senior friends or family members. In these games, you and the rest of the players will try to remember past events, personalities, music, movies, and even TV shows that all of you are likely familiar with. Trivia games are exercises for the brain. Specifically, you will be able to exercise your recall skills by playing these games.
3. Mobile apps
You can also rely on mobile apps when looking for one of the top brain exercise routines for seniors. Mobile apps are made available not only because these help fight boredom or give you something to do while you are lying in bed resting. These can also help increase cognitive functioning, as shared by Nadine Kaslow, Ph.D., professor and vice chair at Emory University’s Department of Psychiatry and president of the American Psychological Association, in a Huffington Post article. Apps like CogniFit Brain Fitness, Personal Zen, and Lumosity can boost memory, processing speed, and problem-solving skills, particularly in seniors.
Aside from the three apps mentioned above, you can find other cognitive apps to download from your mobile phone. Some even have options to change the difficulty level and focus on a particular mental capability like memory.
4. Arts and Crafts
Are you good at drawing or scrapbooking? Why not knit items that you can use at home? Do you want to do cake decorating? Squeeze out your creative juices and create arts and crafts to showcase your ingenuity. But more than being creative, engage your creative mind to activate your brain as you make a sequence of decisions—from choosing what kind of drawing materials to use, how colourful you want it to become, and how you want your creative piece to turn out.
The list of the top brain exercise routines for seniors is long. However, you have many more fun ways to keep yourself busy and activate your brain to avoid dementia.