The mind is a lot like a muscle where it needs to be constantly exercised and challenged in order to function at its best. This means that you need to stay active mentally with different stimulating activities to ensure that your neural connections stay intact. This is not always an exciting activity and it can sometimes feel like a tedious chore to exercise your mind every day.
At our senior living community in Conservatory At Alden Bridge, we offer a wide range of different wellness activities under our Dimensions Health & Fitness living program. Other than physical wellbeing, our professional team members also ensure intellectual wellness amongst other different aspects. To help others with cognitive decline, we have compiled a list of fun word games that are perfect for a quick and entertaining way to keep an active mind.
Words in Word
This is a really fun game that helps with increasing social interactions, improving self-esteem, while providing mental stimulation. Begin the game with at least two participants and a whiteboard or piece of paper. Each participant needs to think of a long word. A good gauge is to opt for something with at least six to seven alphabets. Once you have decided on a word, write it down on the whiteboard and ask each person to make other words using the letters in the chosen word.
Scrabble is another great word game for older adults. This is another game that improves mental stimulation, not just with words but also mathematical calculation, vocabulary, and strategy. However, if your loved one is starting to have eyesight problems, it is important to get extensive or specialized letters for the game to ensure that the letters are easily visible.
Word Search or Boggle
Word search puzzles are great for those who are planning to keep their mind active as you will need to identify and pick out the different words according to a word list. More importantly, they are something that you can easily do on your own with a word search puzzle book or an online app.
If you prefer something more social and challenging, Boggle is a great game for two players that utilizes the same skills, except that you will need to create words from the random arrangement of letters in the grid. This means that there is no reliable list of the words that can be found for each arrangement. Words with longer lengths will have a higher score and the person with the highest total points wins the round.
Complete The Phrase
This game allows for greater personalization as you can make use of famous sayings, proverbs, and idioms that they will be familiar with. They can even be phrases that are commonly used by family members or within the community. This is not only a great exercise for those with dementia, it is also an activity that can allow for bonding and reminiscing of the past. Depending on the cognitive abilities of your loved one, you can either leave out the last word or cut the phrase in half for them to complete.