When was the last time you tried to solve a math games? High School? Chances are, whether you're an elderly individual or a caregiver for an elderly individual, math games aren't generally on the top of your list of favorite things to do.
For many of us, math can be too difficult, challenging or frustrating to solve, so we avoid them like the plague. However, engaging in games, regardless of your age, may help to keep your mind in tiptop shape.
Giving your brain a good workout on a regular basis can help reduce the risk of seniors for developing types of dementia, including Alzheimer's. It has long been believed that mental stimulation helps to reduce forgetfulness, memory loss, and slowed reasoning or thinking skills in the elderly. For the past two decades, researchers have studied the effects of leisure activities in seniors, and carefully examined their results in those who challenged their brain on a regular basis by playing games; board games, card games, crossword puzzles, or anything that stimulated and engaged the mind.
The studies of this research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, describe reduced incidence of dementia in individuals who engaged in brain development and stimulation over those years. A reduction in risk by up to 63% was determined to benefit individuals who participated in such activities on a daily basis.
the study in the New England Journal of Medicine, and in medical circles, it's
believed that any type of mental stimulation helps to increase an individual's
cognitive abilities, reasoning, and memory.
The more mentally stimulated your brain, the more brains cells are developed. Challenging your brain by learning a new language, learning a new game or skill, or trying to solve games is an excellent way to stimulate and challenge the brain so that it maintains brain cell growth and development.
What types of games should you or your loved one engage in?
A number of online websites offer free game play for all ages. For example, check these out:
Fun Brain offers a variety of math games including math baseball, math arcade, tic-tac-toe squares and connect the dots. Some games are geared more toward elementary levels than advanced, so if you need something more challenging, try www.brainmetrix.com, where you'll find memory tests, math problems, brain concentration, spatial intelligence games, and Sudoku.
Games don't have to be so difficult that they cause frustration, but should give you or your elderly loved one something to think about.
You don't have to log onto the Internet to find games. You can find game software to download onto your computer at most office-supply or game stores. You can also find a variety of games, brainteasers, and word problems in puzzle books found at your local bookstore, supermarket or drugstore in the magazine section.
Stimulating the mind with games doesn't have to be expensive. Online subscriptions to puzzle sites average around $10 a month, while downloadable software that you can purchase at an office supply store costs an average of $10 per game. Puzzle books at a bookstore or drugstore cost an average between $4 and $7, depending on size and type of puzzle book.
If your parent or loved one is hesitant to engage in math solving problems, puzzles or games, do them yourself, and ask them for help. This may help get them involved without requiring them to engage in solitary activities. However, your parent may prefer to play games by himself, so allow a certain amount of time every day for such enjoyment.
The more frequently your parent or elderly loved one engages in games, puzzle solving, or game playing, the better off they'll be. Of course, pay attention to any signs of aggravation, frustration, or disappointment if your loved one is unable to complete a puzzle. Better yet, work on math games together, which encourages bonding and communication.