Brain games are activities that are fun but challenge your brain, making you think, strategize and remember information.
Brain games help train your mind, improving memory, thinking, reaction time and cognitive ability.
The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) recommends people incorporate cognitively stimulating activities into their lifestyle to help maintain their brain health as they age. The sooner you start, the better because what you do now may make you less susceptible to disease-related brain changes later in life.
“We know that the desire to stay mentally sharp is the No. 1 concern for older adults,’’ says Sarah Lock, AARP senior vice president for policy and executive director of the GCBH. “Seeking out brain-stimulating activities is a powerful way for a person to positively influence their brain health as they age.”
Assisted living communities, like Heritage Woods of Yorkville, offer a variety of socially engaging activities and events.
People can help themselves maintain their memory, reasoning skills and ability to focus by engaging in such brain-stimulating activities as learning a new language, volunteering in the community, taking a class or choosing a new hobby.
Chess is a great example of a brain game because it requires strategy. Sudoku is also a popular game that will help keep your mind sharp.
Timed games, like Simon Says, help you develop, focus, and process information faster.
Jigsaw puzzles are a great social activity for family or friends too! Other popular pastimes such as chess, mahjong and backgammon help strengthen the brain, as well as memory.
Tetris is available on almost every phone, computer and game system and is easy to play for short periods of time.
There are no known cures for dementia, although some brain games may improve memory and delay brain decline.