Brain GamesAugust 29, 2023
Puzzle lovers will agree placing the last piece in a jigsaw puzzle, writing in the final answer in a crossword puzzle or solving the daily Wordle gives a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that many people should consider making part of their day.
That’s the case at Quail Haven Village senior living community in Pinehurst, North Carolina. There, avid puzzlers often get together in the community’s clubhouse, library or other social areas to stimulate their brains by doing puzzles, either as a group or on their own.
While doing puzzles is fun, it also offers health benefits for older adults. Here are a few examples:
Studies show that solving jigsaw puzzles taps into multiple cognitive abilities and may help protect against cognitive decline.
Houston Methodist Medical Center finds that solving a game like Wordle that challenges players to solve a five-letter word of the day can expand a person’s vocabulary and deductive reasoning skills. It also shows you’re never too old to learn a new word.
Are there worries weighing on your mind? Getting lost in doing puzzles is one way to relax and distract yourself from life’s inevitable stresses. According to the Baylor College of Medicine, putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle is a healthy way to relax and de-stress.
Puzzles can be done on your own or as a group. Socialization is good for you and is inherent when you work together with others to solve a puzzle. The benefits of socialization, according to Harvard Health Publishing, include less risk of depression and a longer life span.
Fine motor skills:
Grasping, picking up and placing the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle can help improve a person’s fine motor skills, which are also needed in life’s daily tasks such as writing or picking up a utensil to eat.
A side benefit of completing any task is the enjoyment of getting it done. There’s a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from seeing every last piece of jigsaw puzzle in place or knowing that you finished a crossword puzzle. It provides a boost to your mood that will carry you through the day.