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7 Memory-Boosting Games Your Aging Parent Should Try

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The brain is responsible for different types of memory. However, as adults age, various natural biological processes cause changes in brain function. The alterations don’t necessarily signal a serious cognitive impairment. In fact, by regularly challenging the brain, its functionality can be enhanced. Playing games is a great way to boost memory and overall cognitive ability. Here are a few memory-boosting games your senior loved one should try.

1. Chess

An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine explained that playing backgammon, checkers, or chess can stave off dementia and related disorders. The study involved a group of adults over the age of 75. Some were required to regularly engage in mentally challenging activities that included playing chess. The games stimulated both sides of the brain, which enhanced focus, memory, and problem-solving skills. On the other hand, the control group demonstrated no change in brain function. 

Family caregivers may find it difficult to provide mentally stimulating activities for their loved one. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Palm Desert Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Concentration

Although this game is popular among youngsters, it can be useful for enhancing memory in seniors as well. Concentration can also be played with more than one person depending on the number and types of cards used. Play generally begins with the cards lying face down. Each player takes turns flipping two cards over in an attempt to make a pair. If unsuccessful, the cards are turned back and the next player takes a turn. The player with the most pairs wins.

3. Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles require the ability to remember spelling in addition to deciphering word and phrase definitions. However, the origins of the puzzles must be altered. Otherwise, over time, seniors may become too familiar with puzzle-creating techniques used by the same author.

4. Grocery List Game

This game involves one person making a statement about going to the store to purchase a specific item. Each person, in turn, must repeat the entire sentence while adding another item to the list. The game continues until someone cannot list all of the items and in the correct order. Many variations of the game are possible. However, all are simple but effective means of fine-tuning memory. 

The socialization involved in playing games can elevate your aging parent’s spirits and sharpen his or her memory. For families living in Palm Desert, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

5. Jigsaw Puzzles

Putting puzzles together is ideal for honing short-term memory. The more pieces the puzzle contains, the greater the challenge.

6. Scrabble

This popular word-forming game requires memory to create words with the letter tiles provided. Scrabble also requires abstract thinking and problem-solving skills. Playing the game is a great way to spend time with loved ones.

7. Video Games

Episodic or roleplaying video games are an exciting and engaging way to keep memory function alive. Players must typically respond to certain situations and act in specific ways to achieve a goal. During the game, players must remember how to control characters and what actions cause responses. Even after completing a game, players may return time and again to reduce problem-solving time or gain more rewards. Video games are also available in a wide variety of genres, which makes them appealing to seniors with different interests.

Playing games with a senior to boost his or her memory can be time-consuming, and you may need a break. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Palm Desert, California, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. To choose the most suitable in-home care plan for your parent, call (760) 345-0001 today.