StickTogether encourages inclusive relationships that foster interpersonal connections. Forming these welcoming connections is especially vital amongst seniors and their families. Puzzles have many cognitive benefits that can help family members who may be suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Keeping the brain juices flowing at all stages of life is essential to personal health. When we, at StickTogether, create StickTogether images at various community events around the U.S., we love seeing participants span multiple age groups, from youngsters who are just learning their letters to seniors. StickTogether allows them to create a mural as a learning community while they connect, casually, in the process.
Here are five benefits of using mosaic puzzles with senior family members:
Enhanced Visual and Spatial Insight
Solving a mosaic puzzle requires a clear understanding of the puzzle, followed by a visual and spatial representation of the puzzle. This intake process of pictures, shapes, sizes, and colors improves visual and spatial recognition and enhances short-term memory.
A Vehicle for Socializing
Puzzles can be either an individual activity or a group activity. It is always fun to gather a few family members to solve a StickTogether puzzle. Socialization reduces the rate of depression in senior people. When solving a puzzle in a group, opportunities for accessible communication, associations, cherishing accomplishments, and relationships develop. Visual puzzles usually pose an excellent opportunity for the sharing of memories, aspirations, or other thoughts.
Focuses on Therapeutic Meditation
Puzzles solved with dedicated concentration activate both the left and right hemispheres of the brain and help with emotional relaxation. Puzzles encourage a mental state of mind that allows for therapeutic meditation. This meditation helps in experiencing a realm of calmness and pleasure, as well as an enhanced outlook and an overall feeling of serenity. For example, working on a puzzle can help those with Alzheimer's by putting them in a calm state when they otherwise would be agitated.
For seniors, solving puzzles results in the release of a chemical called dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for making people feel happy, accomplished, and confident. It also enhances motor skills, boosts levels of concentration, and confidence.
Retaining and Enhancing Cognitive Skills
Numerous research studies have determined that actively engaging in puzzles of any kind, for at least 90 minutes per week, can notably enhance one's intelligence outcome. Puzzles assist in the technique of getting to know new phrases, aids in the enrichment of memory, enhances reasoning skills, and more. Studies have found that seniors with memory loss who worked on puzzles for at least 45 minutes per week had progressed rankings on memory assessments.
Coming up with fun and productive activities to keep our loved ones entertained and engaged is not an easy task. Although putting together a puzzle may seem like a simple activity, they provide many benefits for helping senior loved ones.
Caretakers: Plan an event, or regular weekday sessions at your senior center where residents can get involved in puzzles together, socialize, and enhance cognitive skills.