When was the last time you put together a puzzle?
Many Irvine Cottages residents enjoy it daily!
Benefits of Building Puzzles:
Working on jigsaw puzzles is good for a healthy brain. From stimulating concentration to strengthening short-term memory, the benefits of puzzles combine to help us reduce our risk of dementia.
Including jigsaw puzzles as part of a care routine for someone who has already developed memory loss also has remarkable benefits for the mind and spirit. This enjoyable activity can improve brain function and stir pleasant memories from childhood. Research even shows that, among the benefits of puzzle-building, seniors with Alzheimer’s can decrease their rate of cognitive decline.
- Powerful brain workout – Building a puzzle exercises both sides of the brain, creating a stimulating workout. While the left side is busy with logic and order, the right side of the brain focuses on creativity and intuitive thought. Puzzles combine these functions for full-brain involvement.
- Increased memory and visual perception – When you put together a puzzle, your eyes are constantly scanning for a piece that matches a specific shape or color. This not only improves visual recognition (which often declines with Alzheimer’s), but strengthens your short-term memory as well.
- Purposeful activities – For people with Alzheimer’, their disease may limit them from doing the kinds of tasks they used to do with ease. A simple project, such as finishing a puzzle, can give them a big boost in pride and sense of purpose.
- Improved interactions with others – Spending time together with a puzzle creates opportunities for easy conversation, collaboration, shared accomplishments and bonding. For someone with memory loss who is nonverbal, completing a puzzle gives them a unique chance for connection.
- Therapeutic meditation – Working on a puzzle can benefit those with Alzheimer’s by calming them down if they’re agitated or restless. Puzzles require concentration, which can help relax and alter their mood.
- Better physical health – Calming activities like jigsaw puzzles can lower the breathing rate, slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure.
- Feel-good chemicals – Completing a task, such as finding the missing piece to a puzzle, releases dopamine in the brain. This chemical makes us feel good and we feel the effects of dopamine when we accomplish a goal, complete a project or solve a problem.