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Brainpower Boost: Techniques to Keep Seniors Mentally Sharp

As people age, it's natural to experience some decline in mental sharpness. This can manifest as forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, or slower processing speeds. These changes are often due to a combination of factors, including reduced blood flow to the brain, cell degeneration, and less frequent mental stimulation.

However, there's a lot we can do to combat this decline and keep our minds sharp well into the golden years. Engaging in activities that challenge our brains can help create new neural pathways, strengthen existing ones, and improve cognitive function. There are so many everyday ways to maintain mental sharpness that can be done.


Brain Training Apps and Games

The digital world offers a wealth of brain training apps and games designed to target different cognitive skills. 

  1. Lumosity: offers a variety of exercises for memory, attention, problem-solving, and processing speed. (iOS Download, Android Download)

  2. Elevate: providing daily challenges and tracking your progress over time. (iOS Download, Android Download)

Beyond apps, there are many online brain training websites with puzzles, crosswords, and logic problems. 

  1. Wordle is a popular mind puzzle where players have six tries to guess a five-letter word. It gives you hints in the form of colors which indicate if a letter is in the right spot (green), if the letter appears in the word but is in the wrong spot (yellow), or if the letter does not appear in the word (grey). https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html

  2. Connections is another great daily brainteaser. You're given a grid of 16 words and your task is to figure out how these words can be grouped together into four sets with four words each. Each set has a shared theme or category. Give it a shot! https://www.nytimes.com/games/connections


Why it Matters

Engaging in mentally stimulating activities isn't just about staying sharp; it has a range of benefits for overall well-being. Studies have shown that regular brain training can help improve memory, focus, and processing speed. It can also delay the onset of age-related cognitive decline and even reduce the risk of dementia. But the benefits go beyond the cognitive. Games and activities that challenge us can boost mood, reduce stress, and promote feelings of accomplishment. They can also be a great way to stay socially connected, as many can be enjoyed with friends and family.






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