Brain Bites – Small Ways to Challenge Your Brain-For Elders

Exercising our minds on a daily basis is just as important as exercising our bodies. There are many small ways all day long to help an elder jog his mind. These cognitive activities can be done with an elder you may be caring for.

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old letters and pen

Here are some cognitive activities to do with an elder you may be caring for.

  • Read the newspaper together either in print or on-line. Read what happened this day in history and reminisce about the events you both remember.
  • Make to-do lists together. Make a grocery list, meal list for the week, places you need to go, activities you will do, and people you will visit (in person, telephone, writing letters, or on-line).
  • Be social and visit with others. Conversation in the form of talking or reading/writing letters keeps us informed as well as included in everyday life.
  • Search for recipes you would like to make or old ones you have made in the past.
  • Do cross words, mazes, word searches, or Sudoku together.
  • Get a good book of poetry and read a few poems everyday. Talk about them when you finish.
  • Likewise read a chapter from a book each day together. Or read a short story from a short story book.
  • Recite the prayers your elder knows. Read from the bible.
  • Learn some words from a different language like “hello” “goodbye” or other simple words.
  • Sing songs together. If you don’t know the words print out the lyrics from the internet.
  • Set up a jigsaw puzzle and work on it daily.
  • Read “I Spy” books. These are great fun and challenging especially with the grandkids. Also play your own game of “I Spy” with the grandkids.
  • And while the grandkids are visiting play a game of hangman or tic-tac-toe. Or pull out the flashcards for a quick quiz on math.
  • Remember paint by number pictures? There are many benefits. It’s not only intellectual, it is creative, and relaxing (for some).
  • Take this Bakers Quiz or Geography Quiz for some trivia question challenges.
  • Reminisce any time of the day. This can be done anywhere, anytime!
  • Listen to Old Time Radio quiz shows, historical shows, music, and other shows that an elder may remember.