Recent studies have identified a number of health benefits daily crossword puzzles can have on an individual. Many show the same findings: solving crosswords later in life was associated with delayed onset of memory decline in those who develop dementia.
These findings can be a great way to inform elderly care and nursing home activities across the UK.
Here are some of the top health benefits crosswords offer:
1. Relieving stress
Elderly people can often face a number of stresses in their daily life. These can range from their financial situation to social or medical challenges they may experience along the way. Crosswords and other such puzzles (e.g. word searches) can offer a valuable way to relax. Taking these little breaks from the world can help people feel calmer and happier.
2. Preserving memory and function
Some researchers have found that those who regularly do crosswords have the brain strength of someone 10 years younger than themselves. The consistent challenge of solving these puzzles provide many cognitive benefits.
Here are some ways to challenge yourself:
- Increasing the size and/or difficulty of the puzzle regularly
- Timing yourself as you solve the crossword
- Using fewer materials to help you solve
3. Sharpening the brain
One of the biggest benefits of crosswords is the way it can build vocabulary. This involves forming new neural connections. This leisurely stimulation of the brain is largely advantageous in preventing the onset of dementia with a stronger ageing brain.
4. Nostalgia boosts
Dementia experts state that nostalgia is one of the most powerful tools to maintaining a healthy brain. Revisiting the past strengthens neural connections in the brain whilst also boosting happiness. Crosswords puzzles encourage people to revisit memories for answers. Once retrieved, the connection associated with the word and memory strengthen and contribute to a healthier brain.
5. Keeping you social
This may seem strange when crossword puzzles are supposed to be solved yourself. However, solving crosswords with friends and family can improve social bonds through fun and conversation. Social connections help you live longer and improve your quality of life. So grab a cup of tea and get solving with friends!
Contacting Stanfield Nursing Home
At Stanfield we provide specialist dementia care. Visit our website to find out more, or check out our social media pages. Alternatively, you can call 01905 420 459 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.