Elderly Parents Brain Exercises - Mind Exercise Games for Seniors 

Elderly Parents Brain Exercises - Mind Exercise Games for Seniors

The brain is a complex organ that, like other muscles in the body, elderly parents need to keep stimulated by exercising the brain with games and crafts in order to enhance the growth and development of new nerve cells and neural function. Exercising the brain helps:


  • Reduce loss of gray matter (the nuts and bolts of memory)
  • Promotes neurogenesis (development of new brain cells)
  • Improves attention spans and the ability to concentrate
  • Strengthens brain synapses (communication pathways)
  • Increases blood flow (more oxygen means healthier cells)

Okay, so who doesn't want to increase brain function, regardless of age? Exercising the brain or mind can be achieved in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

Elderly Brain Exercises
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Mind exercise games that stimulate the thinking process
  • Learning new skills

For more activities please see Senior Brain and Mind

Stay Active – Stay Busy

The best way to keep the brain active in elderly parents is to stimulate and exercise it. Use it! This can be achieved in a number of ways. Caregivers who provide daily care for elderly parents can help to keep things active and stimulated by providing access to a large number of elderly activities that help the brain grow and maintain brain cells.

Studies have shown that many seniors in their 60s, 70s, and 80s have the memory capacity of a 30 year old. While in many cases brain health is related to genetics and family histories, there are ways in which caregivers and elders may work to enhance cognitive skills in those within their care.

Many people believe that the brain starts to die at a certain age, which leads to forgetfulness, dementia and even Alzheimer's disease. However, individuals should be aware that neurogenesis (creation and growth of new brain cells) may also occur (and does) at any age.

Elderly Parents - Exercise the Brain -- Play Those Mind Games!

Games that stimulate and use new areas of the brain are the best for enhancing and developing the memory, learning ability and versatility. The following suggestions are just a few of the types of activities that seniors may engage in to help keep the brain stimulated and functioning at high levels of performance.

  • Learn a new skill – This can be a language, a hobby or a concept. The more challenging, the better. Take up painting. Learn the piano. Take a community class on crime scene investigation. Do something to stimulate, activate and exercise your brain to think in new ways.
  • Create Scrapbooks – This type of elder activity helps rebuild memories and memory skills that may have gotten rusty over the years
Elderly Brain Exercises
  • Engage in 'Thinking Games' – Such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku or chess
Puzzle Master Banner
  • Start an exercise program – Many seniors can do gentle Pilates or Yoga moves, while more active seniors will benefit from low-impact aerobics and isometric exercises. See your doctor first before starting any exercise program!
  • Socialize! – Socializing or group activity for the elderly is a mental activity! Engage in social interactions at least weekly, more frequently if possible -
  • Take that Nap – Studies have shown that lack of sleep inhibits new brain cell growth. Make sure elderly parents are getting enough sleep, but not too much….
  • Reduce stress through elderly exercise, mind and brain games – Stress leads to high levels of cortisol in the brain, which may lead to shrinkage of brain cells. Games and activities such as gardening, walking and even playing with the family dog can help relieve stress in elders
  • Laugh! – Laughter really is one of the best medicines around. A good belly laugh every day helps to release dopamine, that 'feel good' hormone in the brain. Laughter also helps to stimulate the brain and enhances learning.
  • Eat Your Wheaties! – Yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don't forget to feed the brain early in the day! High fiber cereals have been shown to increase cognition and learning ability. Yes, your mother was right!
  • Enjoy some Neurobics! – Try challenging the brain every day by exercising the mind. Instead of writing, brushing your teeth or dialing a phone with your dominant hand, try using the 'opposite' hand and switch around your daily routine a little bit for variation.
  • Try tapes and videos to help stimulate the brain and to develop language skills after an illness or accident. Please see further detailed discussion on why this application may help an elderly parent at home Receptive Languages at Home

Don't get Stuck in a Rut

Caregivers need to encourage elderly parents to try new things that continually challenge and exercise their brain to function. Keeping a parent mentally or physically stimulated doesn't mean keeping them moving from dawn to dusk. It merely means offering them some mental stimulation or elder activity on a daily basis.

To have your seniors play memory games and brain teasers to improve their memory.

The brain, like any other part of the human body, needs exercise. That old saying, "Use it or lose it" is very true, and goes for brain exercise as much as it does for any other body part.

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Brain Games for Seniors


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