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ElderGadget > Games to Keep the Brain Fit, Part I

Games to Keep the Brain Fit, Part I

When it comes to the brain, if you don’t use it, you can lose it. Challenging the brain can provide protection from cognitive decline, which is associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

As ElderGadget mentioned last week, a new study shows that computer games can help older adults hone their memory and attention. This study just reinforces common sense; that is, a healthy brain is an active brain. The names may vary – from “brain games” and “brain teasers” to “cognitive exercises” – but the main idea behind these mind busters stays the same: challenging your brain is a surefire way to improve your cognitive abilities.

There are plenty of sites and videos on the Internet that can help you sharpen your mind. In fact, you might even remember this nifty little gem, which we discussed last month.

We got some great feedback on that post, so we decided to explore the brain-game phenomenon further. After sifting through a plethora of products (some of which are made specifically for seniors, others that are intended for a more general audience but are still senior-friendly), we have collected a list of our favorite destinations that will surely help you exercise that oh-so precious mind.

Brain Fitness

Brought to you by the good folks at Posit Science, this program helps the elderly overcome the hearing hurdles through listening exercises. Developed by 50 leading international scientists, Brain Fitness will improve memory by ten-plus years and accelerate the processing speed of the brain by 131%.

Watch the video to preview a few exercises from the program:

 

Mindfit

Custom-designed for seniors, this easy-to-use software program helps users maintain an agile mind. And for those of you with busy schedules, the good news is you only need to invest 20 minutes a day, three days a week for this product to be effective. As you can see, we aren’t the only ones who love this product:

AARP

Not surprising, but the one-stop-shop site for seniors features an abundance of games, ranging from crossword puzzles and checkers to bowling and Mah Jong. And best of all, their featured games are free.

aarp-home-page

Brain Age

While the name Nintendo is usually associated more with youth culture, seniors shouldn’t be afraid to try out this math-heavy game. The beauty of the product is its accessibility. You can play Sudoku and a handful of other games on the hand-held DS system when you are on the go. Check out the quick tutorial:

Happy Neuron

Unlike the aforementioned products, Happy Neuron isn’t an external product but actually a website. Sign up for a free seven-day trial membership, and you can have five brain games at your immediate disposal. After playing around with some games, we fell in love with the Elephant Memory game. To learn more about the product, read an interview with founder Dr. Bernard Croisile M.D., Ph.D. Scrabble Over the past few years, Scrabble has become an online sensation. But for those old-school purists who want to stimulate their mind off-line, Scrabble can still do the trick. This classic board game combines spelling prowess and spatial reasoning within a competitive setting.

In case you forgot how to play, here’s a quick rundown:

Hope you found the discussion on brain games helpful; look forward to a follow-up that deals more specifically with physical activities that ehance the brain’s liveliehood.

8 Responses to Games to Keep the Brain Fit, Part I

  1. Mike Margolies DC May 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    Very interesting. I’ll be looking into buying Mindfit myself.

    Mike Margolies DC
    Dallas, TX

  2. Ida Libby May 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    I think if older adults learn simple phone texting, how to surf the internet, or just do email, –learning and using these new skills will help them to exercise their brain. And also, help them to keep in touch with their children and grandchildren. Your site has many great posts for gadgets that make it easier for seniors to do this. Thank you for that!

  3. Stephen May 20, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    I couldn’t agree more with Ida. In my Senior years I began to purchase some of these gizmos and gadgets, some of which are described on this blog. Many of them sit on my cluttered shelves, collecting dust. Others I have taken apart, partly out of curiosity and partly out of frustration. But some of these e-Gadgets have been so helpful to me in these past few years and are now indispensable (I am typing right now on one of these gadgets!).

    Anyways – thanks for the info. I’ll be checking back later.

    -Stephen

  4. Beverly November 27, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    My daughters bought me a Nintendo a few yrs ago after I had had a stroke. My first game was the Dog Game but then one daughter bought me Brain Age II and I was hooked. It has really helped with the speed of my thinking and processing. I make ‘playing’ on it a priority everyday for just an hour.

  5. ElderGadget November 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Good for you! Thanks for the reviews of Brain Age II.

  6. WIlloughby Mansfield January 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Stephen,

    I find your post, as a matter of fact, quite offensive. To suggest that old people, such as you, I, and the Queen, only consider the latest technology brought to us by the good folks who patrol the information superhighway as “gizmos” and “gadgets” meant to sit on shelves collecting dust is to be a self-important troglodyte with its head in the sand! We should only be so fortunate that there exists in the world a blog so pure and informative as eldersgadget.com to inform us eldgers of such wondrous new activity!

    Willoughby

  7. ElderGadget January 11, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Wow! Thanks. You made our day. All the best, EJ from ElderGadget

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