From daily physical therapy routines to regular speech therapy sessions, stroke recovery involves a lot of work for older adults. But recovery can also be fun, engaging, and productive at the same time. For instance, puzzles can provide many important benefits in a way that’s also enjoyable. Here are five specific types of puzzles that are perfect for senior stroke survivors.
1. Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles can be especially beneficial for stroke survivors by stimulating both sides of the brain at once. The act of figuring out where the pieces go increases attention span and problem-solving skills. Picking up and inserting the pieces in the proper spaces restores manual dexterity while also enhancing hand-eye coordination. Jigsaw puzzles also help recovering stroke survivors with:
- Short-term memory
- Visual-spatial reasoning
- Stress relief
- Maintaining connections with family members
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful puzzle-solving companion for a senior recovering from a stroke. Families looking for top-rated senior care providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
2. “Match the Pictures” Puzzles
A stroke sometimes affects the part of the brain that identifies relationships between sets of images. However, over time, the brain may be able to rewire itself and regain the ability to recognize meaningful patterns. One way to speed this process up a bit is with “match the pictures” puzzles, which involve turning over one piece and then another one in an attempt to find a match. If a match isn’t found, the pieces are turned back over, and the process continues until all matches are discovered. Your loved one can play this type of puzzle with physical game pieces or online. The online versions sometimes include timers, which allows stroke survivors to increase their speed as they regain abilities.
Jenga is a unique type of puzzle game whose objective is to move wooden blocks from one portion of a tower to the other without knocking it down. It enhances physical and mental coordination while also increasing concentration abilities and fine motor skills.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Phoenix home care service experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care to enhance his or her quality of life.
4. Crossword Puzzles & Word Searches
Available in many different skill levels, sizes, and fonts, crossword puzzles can be tailored to your loved one’s abilities as he or she recovers from the stroke. Crosswords are beneficial because they enhance:
- Recall and recognition
- Finger movements (when done manually with a pencil or online using a keyboard)
Word searches provide similar benefits, but they’re a bit less demanding than crosswords. Searching for words also boosts perceptual skills.
Tip: Consider getting your loved one a crossword or word puzzle book. This will allow your parent to choose puzzles that are right for his or her skill level and easily switch to another puzzle if one is too challenging.
Sudoku is a number-based logic puzzle that can be perfect for senior stroke survivors who prefer something a bit more challenging as they regain their cognitive abilities. In fact, the neural stimulation provided by puzzles of this nature could help the brain regenerate more complex connections. When this happens, enhancements may be seen in both mental and physical abilities because of the way the brain’s various parts work together.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of Phoenix in-home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your parent, give us a call at 602-847-6549 today.