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Keeping the Brain Active

Whether your loved one plays brain games alone or plays them with another person like her home care provider, they can have benefits to her brain health.
Home Care in Fontana CA
Home Care in Fontana CA

Did you know that December 21 is National Crossword Puzzle Day? This holiday kind of gets forgotten among the many larger holidays during the month, and while it doesn’t get a lot of fanfare, it’s a great holiday to remember with your elderly loved one.

Brain games are a great way to help your loved one stay mentally fit. Regularly playing games can improve your loved one’s cognitive functions such as memory, retention, and learning abilities. They are a fun way to exercise the brain. Whether your loved one plays brain games alone (such as crossword puzzles) or plays them with another person like his home care provider, they can have four benefits to his brain health.

  • Playing games reduces the risk of developing dementia. Just playing one game a week can help the brain stay healthy. Even if your loved one already has dementia, continuing to play games can help slow down its progression. Have your home care provider set up a game time with each visit. It can be something simple like a game of checkers or something a bit more complex like a trivia game or chess.
  • Playing games lessens the risk of depression and other emotional health disorders. When playing a game with someone, it provides a chance to connect and not only play the game but talk about things that matter. Playing a game can also be a great way to socialize for those who are introverted or struggle with having a conversation. It provides easy parameters in which you must interact with someone. Your loved one can get this benefit from playing games with his home care provider or even playing online with other online players.
  • Playing games creates a better short-term memory. We don’t often think about all the things we have to remember when playing a game because we’re having so much fun. But playing a game requires plenty of memory. Your loved one needs to remember whose turn it is and when. He needs to remember what piece on the game board is his. He needs to remember the general rules of the game and how to play the game. All of these little details provide stimulation to the brain and help to remember other details in life as well.
  • Playing games promotes mental agility and actually can build new neural pathways in the brain, no matter a person’s age. Those new pathways can help your loved one problem-solve and be more mentally agile when creating a plan for the day or even just determining what he’ll wear that day. Playing games that require strategy like chess or Risk is great for exercising the brain in this way.


Gather up those crossword puzzles on December 21, bring out the chessboard, and encourage your loved one to add playing games to his weekly health regimen. He’ll see results in no time and have fun while doing it.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care in Fontana, CA, please contact the caring staff at Calvary Senior Care today (866) 710-8767

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