5 Fantastic Brain-Boosting Puzzles for Stroke Recovery

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on August 26, 2019

An elderly person’s cognitive function changes after a stroke. While some changes in memory and reasoning abilities are permanent, many are not. Seniors can often recover many of their former abilities by doing therapeutic activities. While stroke recovery does require hard work, some of the most beneficial activities for senior stroke survivors are also filled with fun. These five types of puzzles all offer specific benefits that target the skills your aging loved one needs to recover.

1. Sudoku Puzzles

If you’ve ever played a game of sudoku, you know the satisfaction that comes from completing a puzzle. Sudoku comes in varying levels, so you can easily find a puzzle that fits your loved one’s current abilities. Your loved one must use logic skills to find the right numbers to put into the rows, as this reinforces connections in the brain that promote neuroplasticity and regrowth among neural pathways.

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Tucson live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.

2. Word Searches

Stroke survivors frequently find their language abilities affected by their condition. It’s common for seniors to have difficulty finding the right words when they try to talk. Their brains may also have difficulty determining the meanings behind symbols and letters. Word searches give your loved one an easy starting point for replenishing his or her vocabulary. As your parent searches for words, he or she begins to remember what they mean. Looking at the letters on the page also helps seniors begin to organize their thoughts so they can recognize meaningful written language.

3. Crossword Puzzles

Many seniors have enjoyed doing crosswords for years, and it may already be part of your loved one’s daily routine, which brings a sense of familiarity to stroke recovery. Similar to word searches, crossword puzzles challenge the brain to pull from long-term memory to find the words that go along with the definitions. Even if your loved one needs assistance with finding the right word, he or she can still benefit from adding a new term to his or her memory, which helps with communication.

4. Jigsaw Puzzles

Putting together jigsaw puzzles is a well-known way to increase short-term memory function. Your loved one can also develop better spatial and reasoning abilities as he or she works to figure out which pieces fit together. Organizational skills are also learned when sorting out the pieces according to attributes such as location and color. Simpler puzzles are available that have a small number of large pieces to put together. Once your loved one completes those, he or she can move on to puzzles that are increasingly challenging.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful puzzle-solving companion for a senior recovering from a stroke. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Tucson home care services. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

5. 3-D Puzzles

One of the most well-known types of 3-D puzzles is a Rubik’s Cube. This handheld puzzle is perfect for stroke survivors who are confined to bed or have limited hand dexterity. Playing with a Rubik’s Cube can increase your loved one’s attention span while encouraging him or her to work on problem-solving skills.

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. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555.