Whether you are on the way to town or simply need a fun distraction, completing a jigsaw is a productive way to pass the time. But did you know it also has a load of health benefits for seniors? As we grow older, completing a puzzle now and then is a great way of exercising your brain and boosting your mental health. Not only that - it’s also a lot of fun!
Thinking about dusting off a puzzle or some sudoku? Read on to find out what doing a jigsaw can do for your health!
Benefits of jigsaw puzzles for elderly
- Improves memory
- Encourages social contact
- Reduces stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases your attention to detail
- You can get better sleep
- Boosts your mood
Working on a puzzle puts your brain to the test. Studies show that over-50s who regularly take part in puzzles have much higher brain function, and it’s not hard to see why! Jigsaw puzzles help you to exercise your short-term memory, as you need to remember different colours, shapes and patterns along the way. Word puzzles like crosswords and sudoku have a similar impact, as they require you to recall certain details to form a connective pattern.
Encourages social contact
One of the best parts about doing a jigsaw is the feeling of social connection and community. Completing a jigsaw can be a cooperative project where you put your heads together with a friend or partner. By combining your brainpower towards a common goal, you’ll find it easier than ever to develop close bonds with new people. Nothing says friendship like working together to complete a tricky puzzle!
From working on Sudoku to piecing together a jigsaw, puzzles are great for your mental health. Getting lost in a puzzle is almost like a form of meditation, providing a source of calm and peace. While you are focused on completing a puzzle, the stresses of the outside world get put to the side. Best of all, the feeling of successfully completing a puzzle results in a morale boost that helps to reduce stress even further!
Lowers blood pressure
By making you less stressed and giving you a fun distraction, completing a puzzle can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure! You might not think it, given how challenging they can be, but settling down to finish a puzzle can help you relax and take it easy.
Increases your attention to detail
Being able to spot small details is vital to being a puzzle master. Whether it’s a crossword or a jigsaw, you have to be able to pick up on small details like colour and letters to have any kind of success. As we enter retirement and don’t have work to keep us focused, doing a puzzle can help you retain these skills for later life.
You can get better sleep
As doing a puzzle helps to ease your body and mind, they can lead to more consistent sleeping habits. Stress and anxiety is a big cause of insomnia, so focusing on a good puzzle could be what you need to let your brain wind down before bed. If you are someone who watches TV before you sleep, consider switching this out for a crossword or sudoku!
Boosts your mood
If you’ve ever finished a good book or completed a long work day, you’ll know that the feeling of completing anything feels great. But there’s something extra special about solving a puzzle that you’ve spent a lot of time on. Completing a puzzle releases dopamine - a chemical that makes us much happier. This is especially important for older adults, who profit from a higher sense of well-being and fulfilment. The more challenging your puzzle is, the higher the sense of accomplishment!
Best Puzzles for Seniors
If you want to take advantage of the health benefits of puzzles, there are loads of places to start. As different puzzles exercise different parts of your brain, we advise mixing and matching for the best results. Here are some of the best puzzles for your health:
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Word searches
You can enjoy your favourite puzzles from the comfort of a Churchill retirement apartment. With top-class facilities and a dedicated lodge manager, there’s no better way to enjoy a safe and fulfilling retirement!