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Brain Games and Mental Health:
How Seniors Can Avoid Dementia

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Recent research suggests that computer games that train the brain can help prevent Alzheimer’s and general dementia. A study from the University of South Florida found that older people who used a brain training game consistently over a 10 year period were 29% less likely to to develop dementia compared to those who did not use the game.

For seniors who want to enjoy life and live independently, maintaining good mental health is critical. Understanding the benefits of brain training games and knowing the many ways to avoid mental decline can help.

Woman Playing Solitaire on Tablet

Possible Benefits of Brain Training for Seniors

Brain training is shown to ward off the effects of dementia, which helps to improve quality of life for seniors and their loved ones. A healthy brain is required for independent living, maintaining relationships and enjoying time spent on recreational activities. Seniors who forget basic things, have a hard time remembering important facts and who are unable to recall memories from long ago often feel increasingly isolated and frustrated.

Brain training can prevent these problems. The term “brain training” often refers to participation in games that are designed to help build and strengthen neural pathways. However, brain training does not have to take place on a computer. The most basic brain training can take place at home with a simple to-do list, a crossword puzzle or a game of Sudoku.

Best Brain Training Games for Seniors

The brain training game from the study done at University of South Florida was an online game called BrainHQ. BrainHQ can be played for a monthly fee. The study at University of South Florida found that the more sessions a senior completed, the more the risk of dementia was reduced. Completing a session is important. Seniors who completed 15 or more sessions over the 10 year period had the most benefit.

In addition to BrainHQ, there are many other games that seniors can play to maintain or improve their mental acuity. Many of these games require little or no money to complete. Some common examples include:

  • Crossword puzzles
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Checkers
  • Chess

In addition, there are many daily activities and hobbies that seniors can engage in that help improve memory. Memorizing lyrics or to-do lists, learning a new language and learning to play a musical instrument can all help seniors improve their brain strength.

Chess Game

Other Things Seniors Can Do To Improve Brain Health

Brain health isn’t just about games. There are many lifestyle changes that seniors can make to help them avoid dementia. Getting enough sleep, exercising daily, limiting alcohol intake and stopping smoking can all help seniors maintain healthy brains. Staying socially active is also important. Seniors who have a pet, see friends, do volunteer work and who spend time socializing with peers are all more likely to stay healthy into their golden years.

Know the Signs of Dementia and Seek Medical Advice

Loved ones who are sensitive to the signs of mental decline can help seniors to maintain good mental health. Some of the most common signs of dementia include:

  • Confusion regarding time and place.
  • Difficulty completing everyday tasks.
  • Memory loss that causes problems in everyday life.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Decrease in good judgment.
  • Withdrawal from social activities.

Anyone who recognizes these signs in their loved one should seek advice from a doctor. Getting fast help is important for helping a senior maintain a healthy lifestyle and good quality of life.

Elderly Man Holding Ball

Further Resources

Contact Us for Support

At Primrose, our Brain Gym includes computer-based cognitive exercises for residents. We combine physical exercise and a nutritious diet with cognitive exercises to achieve real and measurable results. We invite you to contact us to request more information or schedule a tour.

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