Elders are the most important and loved members of any social institution. Maybe they have taken retirement from their professional life, but they play a major role in our lives in so many ways. From being the strength of our families to showing us the right path in the race of life, our elders act as a pillar of the family. But unfortunately, our elders are at a major risk of developing mental illness and neurological disorders due to less or no mental exercise. Don’t worry these risks can be prevented or reduced with the help of exercise for mental health.
Here, we will suggest some effective mental exercises. Further, we will also talk about some amazing fun brain games for seniors.
Now before we reveal some mental exercise and the free brain games for seniors, let us first highlight the true meaning of mental health and its importance in old-aged people.
What is mental health?
In the most simple words, mental health refers to the psychological and emotional conditioning of the human mind. The way the human mind perceives and reacts to different situations; how the mind and body feel throughout the day, everything depends on mental health.
Why is it important to take care of mental health in old-age?
Although mental health is important at all stages of life, it becomes even more crucial in elders. It becomes important to take care of mental health in the elderly because a person with bad mental health always remains unhappy and prone to develop other dangerous diseases.
Mental health in elders affects their overall well being. From how they think, feel, and act to how they handle stress and make choices, is all influenced by their mental health.
A good mental health lets elders realize their full potential and give them the energy to deal with everyday stress. It also encourages them to take part in new activities and increase their productivity. On the other hand, negative mental health can destroy it all, and leads the senior citizens towards destructive mental states.
Considering the kind of impact mental health creates on the overall life of elders, it becomes important to take care of their mental health and make sure that they’re on the right track. You can ensure their better mental health or we should say the 'best', with mental exercise.
Best Exercises for Mental Health
● Morning Walk
Morning walks are the best for boosting energy, for the entire day. If we go by the reports, 10 minutes of walking can be more energizing for elders than a cup of coffee. We often underestimate the potential of morning walks.
According to experts, morning walks don't only complete your physical activity for the day, but also give many psychological benefits; such as easing chronic depression, reducing everyday stress and boosting self-confidence in the elders. All these positive outcomes together improve the overall mental health in elders. While being one of the best mental control exercises, morning walks also strengthen your muscles and prevent other health issues in the elders.
Meditation is one of the best mental stimulation exercises for the elderly. It improves various physical and psychological conditions, and keeps the elders happy. As we grow old, we lose focus but meditation can help your mind and body relax. While elders tend to worry about their past and future, meditation helps them focus on the present. Elders can easily meditate by focusing on breathing. This also heals respiratory issues in the elders.
● Art or Language classes
Learning and practising art and language, can be an effective mental training exercise in elders. While learning art and a new language, our mind automatically becomes flexible and starts growing bigger, which is important for elders. This way, their mind keeps working and remains open to new things. Also, when they spend most of their time learning something new, they don’t get much time to really think about the past and other unnecessary stuff going around them. It strengthens their focus against all the distractions. Hence this is a good mental exercise to keep them young and mentally healthy.
While most females already know cooking, it’s time for the male seniors to learn it. When you cook something delicious for yourself and others, it gives a feeling of accomplishment. Cooking also increases patience, focus and organization skills. Hence, it is a proven mental exercise for anxiety and mental health.
One must be thinking that how is it useful for females, as most females in our culture have already spent half of their lives cooking food for their kids, right? Well! Instead of cooking your cultural food, which they already cook well, ask them to learn other cuisines. It will make them feel super excited.
Socialization is a great way to deal with isolation in senior citizens, which is a major cause of mental illness. Experts believe that people who socialize regularly have better mental health than their peers who don’t socialize. It improves mental health in the elderly and makes them emotionally stronger.
It also helps them to achieve the lost self-esteem. While socializing, elders get opportunities to express their heart out. It allows elders to spend time with their friends, and it keeps them engaged in various social activities making sure that they’re staying happy throughout. Thus socialization results in maintained blood pressure, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and better mental health.
Along with practising different mental exercises, mind-stimulating games are also a good option to keep senior citizens engaged.
Best Fun brain games for senior that will keep them mentally healthy
According to experts, games are designed to relieve depression and stress. Hence playing mental games make senior citizens mentally healthy. We are presenting a list of mind-stimulating games for seniors. These games are so simple yet useful for elders' mental well-being. Here’s a list of simplest sit-down games for seniors.
Scroll down and have these amazing:
● Card Matching Games
Card matching games require the elders to find similarities and differences in the given objects. Therefore, these games are best for improving concentration and increasing short term memory. Also, card matching games don't require physical activity, elders can simply play them while sitting at their comfortable place.
Sudoku is also a beneficial game for improving mental health in elders. It promotes logical thinking. Not only playing Sudoku keeps elders engaged, but also improves their thinking skills and develops a sense of learning and achievement. Elders who play sudoku regularly tend to take less stress than their peers who don’t indulge in such mind games.
● Match The Memory
Match the Memory is the best brain game for seniors with dementia. It solely focuses on sharpening memory in the elders. It also trains visual memories which help them locate things easily. With a sharp memory, elders become more self-sufficient and less dependent on others.
It is always good to keep learning, especially in the later phase of life, when you have a lot of free time. Crosswords is one such mind game for elders that promotes learning new words and releases stress. At the same time, this old-fashioned game is very engaging and entertaining.
Reports indicate that games like chess that require a lot of brainpower, are good to improve memory in senior adults. Chess is a stairmaster for the human mind and is believed to be an useful game to slow down the symptoms of Alzheimer in elders. At the same time, playing chess can improve concentration and increase patience which prevents mental illness.
● Rubik's Cube
Rubik’s Cube is a lot more than just a pastime activity. Being a boredom buster, Rubik’s Cube also promotes better mental and physical health among elders. It is an extremely beneficial game for senior citizens with medical challenges. With a lot of things happening around senior citizens, this simple sitting game gives them a moment for mental exercise.
Are you over 50 and experience dementia? If yes, solving puzzles is the best mind game for you. It activates both the right and left side of the mind at the same time. Hence puzzles result as an influential workout for the brain.
● Brain Boosting Riddles
Braid boosting riddles is the best stress buster for anyone, especially adults. While riddles are used for fun, they’re always derived from logic. Hence riddles promote logical reasoning in the elders and increase their mental activity which further releases their stress.
These were the best free brain games for seniors that will keep them mentally healthy.
How does exercise improve mental health?
Studies suggest that mental exercise activates both the right and left side of the brain. Mental exercise has the potential to relieve mild to moderate anxiety.
Exercise is the best healer for mental health as it reduces anxiety and depression, and also other negative mental conditions. This further enables a boost in self-esteem and improves cognitive function in the elderly.
According to WHO, globally, the population is aging rapidly. Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double, from 12% to 22%. If not given proper care, the elders that form a major part of the population can become mentally unhealthy. Thus it is important for them to be engaged in mentally strong exercises.
5 Mental Benefits of Exercise
The above-mentioned mind stimulating games and mental exercise results in lots of mental benefits in elders. Here we have listed down the major 5 mental benefits of exercise.
● Delay Old-Age Disease
The first and foremost benefit of mental exercise is the delay of old-age diseases.
The old-age diseases occur in elders when they give up on their physical and mental activities, and start spending most of their time sitting alone at one place. It makes their mind feel older. But when they keep themselves busy with brain activation exercises, their mind doesn’t feel old rather it stays active and happy. And a happy mind always leads to good mental and physical health and prevents itself from old-age diseases.
● Reduces Risk of Heart Attack or Strokes
It’s a proven fact that regular physical and mental exercise prevents heart attack and strokes. Mental exercise games keep elders’ minds activated and improves blood pressure which reduces the risk of heart attack or strokes in the elderly. Moreover, mental exercise keeps your mind and heart happy and a happy heart is always at a reduced risk of heart attack or strokes. However, it is advised to go for professional caregivers, for elders. They can help you choose the activities that are most appropriate for your body.
● Prevents Joint Pain
Being active does more than just keeping the heart healthy! Yes, it also prevents joint pain, which is the most common problem of elders. Also, when you practice mental exercise, the stress level reduces. Mental games and meditation are exceptionally effective to help calm your mind. These exercises stimulate muscles, boost strength and reduces stress in the elderly. And reduced stress means reduced pain.
● Prevents Dementia
Dementia is another common disease in elders which can be cured or prevented with regular mental exercise. Mental games like crosswords, card matching, chess, etc., activates all the muscles of mind at the same time. Similarly, other activities like socializing, cooking and meditation improves focus and patience. Thus playing memory games, learning new skills, writing, reading and socializing, all such mental exercise and brain stimulation games sharpen the focus in elders and improves their memory.
● Live Longer
Lastly, mental exercise prevents the overall well-being of elders, keeps all their stress away, helps them fight against all mental and physical diseases, and ensures a longer life for them.
Mental health issues among elders are increasing, but professional caregivers are also available to help them, like us, at Emoha. We offer services, opportunities & complete emergency support to the elders. Over the years, we have attained expertise in helping elders in their health and lifestyle related activities. Connect with us at 1800-123-445555, for improved mental health and overall happiness in the lives of elders. We ensure to provide them with the best possible care, with our effective physical games for seniors.