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Jigsaw Puzzle | Brain Games for Seniors

Brain function and strength are strongly related to genetics, age, use, and disease. As a person gets older, dendrites (brain cell connections) weaken and it can possibly lead to dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease, which are types of age-related conditions. A person that does not properly use and stimulate his or her brain regularly is more susceptible of developing such age-related conditions. The good news is, it is possible to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia by keeping the brain stimulated and functioning.

Advantages of Playing Brain Games in Seniors:

Stimulating the brain to increase brain strength by doing brain exercises can improve and even prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease that can occur during senior years. Different types of puzzles, such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, picture puzzles, and many more, are some easy ways to keep the brain stimulated.

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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Seniors Playing Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzle is a type of “tiling puzzle” that requires the formation of different shape pieces. When all the jigsaw puzzle pieces are all connected and completed, it can then produce a complete picture. Typical images formed in jigsaw puzzles are buildings, castles, mountains, and nature sceneries.

How Can Jigsaw Puzzles Stimulate the Brain in Seniors?

By playing jigsaw puzzle, the person is engaged to use his or her brain to retain information regarding different shapes, sizes, and colors of the puzzle pieces, in order for him or her to choose the right pieces that can fit together properly. In order to choose the right puzzle pieces, the brain has to memorize and analyze what each piece should look like or are there missing pieces in order to complete the puzzle. Having to do the same thing over and over again can help in improving not just short-term memory, it can also help in improving the overall brain function.

Jigsaw puzzles can also promote the brain to function in both right and left hemispheres. The brain’s left hemisphere functions to help in problem solving, while the right hemisphere functions in seeing the picture of the puzzle in a creative sense. The connection between both hemispheres of the brain improves a senior’s ability to learn, comprehend, and retain information. In fact, every time a senior gets to solve the jigsaw puzzle, it has a positive effect on the production of dopamine (neurotransmitter) in the brain, which can improve the senior’s motivation and concentration. Dopamine is a very important neurotransmitter that plays a very huge responsibility in motor control and both long-term and short-term memory.

Choosing the Right Jigsaw Puzzle for Seniors:

Since almost all seniors have problems with looking and handling small puzzle pieces, it will be best to choose jigsaw puzzles that have large or over sized puzzle pieces and pictures. Large puzzle pieces and pictures are easier to handle and they can easily see it clearly effortlessly.

Please also see other brain games & puzzles, games for seniors, or browse the entire activities for seniors website for fun, ideas and interesting articles.

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