Cognitive stimulation for seniors in lockdown
Lockdown and social isolation have restricted our physical movement, but our minds are always free to roam. In fact, it’s more important than ever to keep our minds active and stimulated to boost our mood, cognitive skills and self-confidence.
So now’s the perfect time to seek out some nourishing mind food, with a balanced diet of cognitive activities for seniors. Whether they’re simply fun, or more challenging, online brain exercises and activities are a great way to give your brain’s neurons a workout.
Apart from normal aging, medication and a lack of physical activity can impact cognitive function. “Eventually, your cognitive skills will wane and thinking and memory will be more challenging, so you need to build up your reserve,” explains Dr John Morris, director of social and health policy research at the Harvard-affiliated Institute for Aging Research. “Embracing a new activity that also forces you to think and learn and requires ongoing practice can be one of the best ways to keep the brain healthy.”
In fact, hundreds of scientific studies around the world have shown the benefits of maintaining and improving cognitive skills as we age using brain exercises for seniors. Start with activities or cognitive games that are challenging, but not so hard that you’re going to throw in the towel!
At Feros Care, we’ve put together this lockdown list of activities and cognitive puzzles for seniors to explore. Most are free and each encourages the use of different parts of your grey matter – from strategic thinking, to memory, focus, coordination and listening skills.
Brain Training Games
You’ll find hundreds of these on the internet, but here are a couple of good sites with cognitive exercises for seniors.
Sharp Brains – this is a great one for all ages
Solitaire, Poker, Bridge – take your pick!
These classic card games all give your memory a good workout.
From beginner level, to more advanced. There are hints and tips for beginners, or you can challenge yourself with time limits and play others online.
This is a simple and easy site to use as you pitch your skills against the computer. You’ll also find Mahjong games and word search puzzles here.
Online Tour of Famous sites
Ok – this one is just a bit of fun! You can take a virtual tour of famous landmarks and sites from around the world. From the Uffizi Art Gallery in Italy, to the Pyramids in Egypt.
Train your memory with different levels, difficulty and themes – from 12 memory cards to start with, right up to puzzles with 36 cards.
Free large print puzzles
If you like to print crosswords out and use a good old-fashioned pen, this is the site for you! The large format is easy to read and there are word search puzzles too.
Play quietly to yourself or use the online bingo caller to read out the lucky numbers as you play with friends over a cuppa. This site also gives you access to print your own bingo cards to use – but no cheating!
Live nature cameras
Tap into the world’s largest live nature network – called Explore. In their own words, explore is – ‘both educational and inspirational, explore creates a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others.’ You can watch bears in Canada or elephants in Africa.
Learn to Draw
Channel your inner Picasso by doing a self-portrait! These step-by-step sketching lessons including drawing faces, 2D and 3D images, shading and our favourite, tips on how to fix common drawing mistakes!
There’s never been a better time to supercharge your social life, from a distance of course! The Feros Care Virtual Social Centre is the online place to meet, exercise, create, participate and be entertained. From film clubs to tech talk, trivia games and chat sessions – there’s so much to dip into. All you need is a tablet or laptop and an internet connection. Feros Care will help get you set up and introduce you to an exciting online world, because everyone needs a break from reality sometimes!