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Memory Games for Healthy Brains

Memories play an important role in forming who we are but, as we age, certain dementia conditions can start to erode these vital building blocks of our relationships, knowledge and personality. Conditions like Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia currently have no cure, but there are ways to fight against memory loss, help exercise the brain and keep neurological pathways firing and responding properly. Our memory care advisors at Lester Senior Living in New Jersey have put together a list of some favorite memory games to play with residents below.

  • Sudoku: This Japanese numbers game has gained a popular following in recent decades, with people of all ages enjoying the challenge. Using a grid of nine by nine spaces or cells, you fill the grid using the numbers 1 to 9, never using them more than once vertically, horizontally or within the 3×3 subgrids. This is a great way to exercise patience, pattern recognition and the process of elimination. They range from easy beginner’s games up to more difficult challenges, so it’s easy to try with your loved one to see if they enjoy it. Most newspapers publish a few puzzles and there are books of Sudoku challenges, as well as free puzzles online.
  • Crossword puzzles: A traditional favorite, these challenges are good for exercising memory recall and problem solving. They are available in different formats and sizes that offer unique challenges, including easy clue formats or more difficult, indirect or cryptic clue formats. Sometimes, they follow different themes, including pop culture, literature, sports, history, or a combination of themes. Have your loved one try out crosswords in the local paper for a quick memory training session.
  • Apps and games: For a slightly more advanced take on brain training, you can use a wide range of programs on computers, tablets or smartphones with your loved one. Many of them, like Lumosity, have been developed by neuroscientists, making them engaging as well as offering practice training for the brain.
  • Puzzles: These come in a wide range of sizes and complexity and many people enjoy doing them with a friend, as well as on their own. Puzzles form useful therapy tools for memory care residents, helping to rebuild problem solving skills as well as encouraging memory stimulation and participation. If you are looking for a puzzle for a loved one with a memory condition, a therapist will be able to help you choose one that provides optimal stimulation without causing frustration.
  • Education: While this isn’t a memory game, learning new things is pivotal to keeping your brain fit and active. At Lester Senior Living, we encourage memory care residents to attend guest lectures, enroll in classes and clubs, and read new books. All of the above helps the brain to form new, healthy neural pathways.

Expert memory care and support services in our assisted living community

Lester Senior Living is no stranger to the care and treatment of adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia diagnoses. Our specialized facility is designed for the unique concerns and caregiving of those with all stages of dementia. It offers dementia-friendly apartments with 24-hour supervision in a beautiful, suburban setting.

To find out more about our memory care in Morris County, please visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org