8 Benefits of Playing Word Search Games for Seniors
Are you a senior, wondering how to keep your mind active during retirement? Perhaps you know a senior or are thinking about a loved one. You might have tried jigsaw puzzles, but you haven’t got the patience. Have you considered fun word search games that you can enjoy with your friends and family?
Unlike a jigsaw puzzle, word searches challenge you to pull information deep out of your memory while engaging a whole host of other neurological functions. The Alzheimer’s Association published a guide that lists word search games as the number one mentally stimulating activity.
If you want to fight off the cognitive effects of aging, you need to consider word search games. If you’re not doing them, your friends probably are. Can you afford to let your thinking skills decline?
We’re going to cover all the major benefits of this engaging and social activity. Read on!
1. Mental Exercise
After retirement, a senior might miss the daily mental challenges that employment brought them. With fewer decisions for the mind to make, you’ll soon be in danger of being less sharp than you once were.
Chair yoga might be taking care of your physical health, but brain health games bring that much-needed exercise upstairs. Word searches are the best games to workout your mind because they require both knowledge and skill.
Cognitive skills are the thought processes developed in childhood. These are skills that enable tasks like reading, learning, and remembering. They allow us to focus on the task at hand.
Practice makes perfect, and if you don’t use it, you lose it. Word search games will engage your higher functions and even improve them if they’ve slipped a little over the past few years.
Visual-spatial relations is a visual perceptual skill that is key to many mental tasks. It’s understanding, reasoning, and remembering the spatial relations among objects or space. Word searches involve directionality (words going in different directions), and mental rotation is required.
2. Problem Solving
If you’re puzzled about how a word search can help you solve problems, just think about it! Word search strategy involves embracing confusion and finding a solution.
Without a day job throwing plenty of problems your way, you can end up finding it harder to deal with them when you need to, especially if you end up getting frustrated and giving up. Word search puzzles train our minds to look for a solution in a relaxed way, so we’ll get better at problem-solving when we’re stressed out by unexpected challenges too.
3. Memory Improvement
If you need more encouragement to play word search games, trust the experts. Research led by the University of Exeter and King’s College London found that the more regularly adults over 50 play, the more word games better their brains.
Researchers also found that those studied had brain function equivalent to those ten years younger when tested on grammatical reasoning. For short-term memory, they had the equivalent functioning of someone younger by eight years. Their findings conclude that word puzzles keep brains working better for longer.
4. Therapeutic Benefits
The opportunity to slow down in retirement is very enticing when we’re going crazy at our day job. The reality of an empty calendar can soon manifest as boredom. Without hobbies and activities to keep a senior busy, anxiety can take hold.
If a senior is already suffering from some of the downsides of aging, puzzles can become a therapeutic distraction.
Don’t be surprised if your doctor prescribes word searches for anxiety. It’s hard to worry when you’re engrossed in a rewarding puzzle, so negative thought patterns are disrupted.
5. Beating the Blues
For long-term health, peaceful relaxation is an important component.
You’ll find that word search games tick this box because they are great at relieving stress. When you’re engaged in a word puzzle, you’ll feel your heart rate lowering and a general feeling of calm.
The reason you’ll feel good and counteract depression is that your brain rewards you with the dopamine hormone when you complete a task. Do a word search every day to get yourself on the path to happiness.
6. Social Meaning
Playing games with friends is one of the joys of life. As we age, sometimes friendships get neglected, often because we feel down or don’t know what to talk about now that we lead a less busy life.
Word puzzles can provide a common focus to bring friends together. Something as simple as a daily word search ritual can add meaning, purpose, and relief to replace any sad feelings that take over now and then.
7. Family Time
Word search games aren’t just a great way to socialize with your group of friends. They’re an effective way to bond with family members too. Children enjoy them as much as seniors, and the experience of helping the young ones participate can be a rewarding experience all around.
If you live in a retirement community, there might be word search competitions going on already. Playing word puzzles against the clock, as well as against your friends, can crank up the enjoyment.
Another option is to play against family and friends in an online word search game.
8. Having Fun
Lastly, the main benefit of word search games is that they’re fun! It’s something you can incorporate into your day so that you’re never stuck wondering what to do.
Make sure that you don’t get bored by doing our daily word search puzzle. Don’t forget to get your friends and family hooked too so that you share the fun with everyone!
Play Word Search Games
We’ve shown that word search games are more than just fun activities for all ages. Don’t forget the importance of exercising your brain as well as your body.
If you’re a senior, or you know one, we can help fight off the cognitive decline associated with aging. We have a great collection of online word search puzzles, with new topics added regularly. Compete in real-time against a friend or as a single player!
Play the word search battle today and exercise your brain.