While researchers are still working to unlock certain mysteries surrounding the aging brain and dementia, there’s one big piece of the puzzle they’ve hit on, and that’s the critical role an active brain plays in delaying or preventing cognitive deterioration. Learning a new language, hobby, or skill are all pursuits we’ve explored as pathways to a healthier brain. But doctors also point to the preventive power of simply playing a game in stimulating cognitive function. Puzzles, brain teasers, memory joggers – there are endless ways to train your brain and have some fun, all accessible on your lap top, iPad, or smart phone! Here are some of the most popular we recommend:
ONLINE GAME SITES
- Briangle offers over 20,000 riddles, brainteasers, mind puzzles, logic problems, and quizzes submitted and ranked by thousands of users. It’s one of the most popular game sites online, and easy to navigate.
- Designed by neuroscientists and game experts, Fit Brains offers a wide selection of games and exercises aimed at sharpening memory, attention, and speed. They also throw in a competitive element, allowing users to compare their results and progress with others in their age group.
- While the Sharp Brains site isn’t specifically targeted to the senior population, its selection of brainteasers and illusions is an excellent array of logic games, optical illusions, and memory challenges worth checking out. They also host lots of informative material about brain function and the overall digital brain health market.
- The AARP also hosts a game page with a fantastic digital selection of everything from crossword puzzles and card games to sports-themed pursuits (think mini golf and baseball) to strategic games like Flip Out and Backgammon.
APPS for iPhone and Android
For those seniors comfortable on a smartphone or iPad, there are lots of brain training apps worth checking out. Luminosity is among the most popular, with more than 25 games played against the clock, aimed at strengthening memory, processing speed, and flexibility of thinking. Elevate is another popular one, earning Apple’s App of the Year in 2014. Elevate lets you develop a personalized training program to track your progress, and features an adaptive ability function to make sure you’re always being challenged. Other apps worth checking out are FitBrains Trainer, Peak, and Brainwell.
Do you have a favorite we missed? Let us know in the comments!