What are Brain Teasers?
They're exactly what they sound like -- games that tease the brain. Teasers enhance mental sharpness and help stimulate the brain.
Brain cells, like any other cell in the body, can deteriorate and die if not used or stimulated on a daily basis. Challenge senior brains to help maintain neural, brain cell development, and keep mental pathways open.
Teasers challenge the brain to think and reason through puzzle solving. Teasers not only offer problem-solving benefits, but also enhance the memory, increase attention span and speed up brain function.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, brain teasers, "...boost reasoning skills, memory and mental processing speed staved off mental decline in middle-aged and elderly people in the first definitive study to show that honing intellectual skills can bolster the mind in the same way that physical exercise protects and strengthens the body."
A person's brain is the most important organ in the body. Teasers encourage thought, thinking and reasoning. When it comes to seniors, mental stimulation and activity may help prevent depression and encourage social activity with others, developing interaction and communication with others, which in turn enhances listening, speaking and cognitive brain function.
Cater games and teasers to the current aptitude of your loved one. Start easy and spend perhaps 10 minutes a day engaged in brain teaser or other types of puzzle activities and gradually increase that time, depending on feedback by your loved one.
If your loved one is hesitant to engage in teasers by themselves, join them for a few moments of fun. Work on solving puzzles together. This increases communication, problem solving and reasoning between the both of you. In this way, seniors benefit two ways -- in the mental stimulation and in the social interaction that all seniors need to help prevent depression and a sense of isolation.
Teasers can be found on the Internet on websites. Simply type in "brain teasers" into the search bar of your favorite browser and you'll find dozens of free as well as subscription type websites that offer teasers, crossword puzzles, and memory games that provide daily mental stimulation for your elderly loved ones or those in your care.
Visit your local bookstore or drugstore and go to the book or magazine section. You'll find a variety of puzzle books or crossword puzzle books that contain teasers, word games, and problem-solving games. Newspapers also often print a daily teaser, which is often found in the same section where the crossword puzzle is printed.
Logic games, memory games, teasers, and puzzles, regardless of their format offer benefits for seniors when it comes to mental activity and stimulation. Brain teasers can be found in a variety of levels from very easy to difficult or hard. Whether your loved one engages in such mind games for five minutes a day or an hour a day, he or she will benefit from the focus, attention to detail, and reasoning involved in attempting to solve such puzzles.
Visit your local office supply or video game store for a variety of software that may be downloaded onto a computer.
Puzzle games that include teasers, memory games, crossword puzzles, word search and other concentration or puzzles don't cost more than $15 in most cases, and are easy to download and use on the computer.
Computer use also helps seniors engage in solitary activities if they prefer, and yet continue to offer the stimulation of solving dozens, if not hundreds of games and puzzles.
Take the time to daily encourage your elderly loved one to participate in some type of teaser or brain activity involved with guessing games, riddles, math games, or games that encourage mental stimulation, reasoning, memory, and most of all, fun.