Can Word Games Improve Memory?
Word games are a great way to stay sharp, no matter how old you are. People generally use these kinds of games as a source of entertainment. However, since word games help with memory and boost the brain functions of seniors, they will be a perfect way to keep them mentally active. This article aims to provide helpful information about brain games, especially word games, and introduce some fun brain games for seniors.
What Is Precisely Word Game, and What Do They Exactly Do?
The brain is one of the essential parts of our body, and just like our muscles, it needs to work out to stay strong and active. Having a smart brain function is especially important for kids and seniors; kids need to smart brain function to develop communication skills and build up social interactions. The latter is for better life quality, preventing or reducing the risk of Alzheimer‘s disease and dementia disease. There are several ways seniors can maintain a healthy state of the brain, and one of the most noticeable ones is brain games.
Word games are subclasses of brain games. They entertain people while developing their language and vocabulary skills and retaining mental activity. Word games challenge the memory in a way that strengthens short-term memory.
Benefits of Word Games for Seniors
Scientists have done several experiments on how brain games can boost cognitive function and promote memory in old ages. Evidence shows that brain and word games have a positive effect on:
Improve Seniors Thinking and Memory
One of the best ways to promote problem-solving skills for seniors is brain games and word games. Both of these games promote interconnection neurons in the brain that directly increase seniors thinking and memory.
Improve Self-esteem and Reduce Stress
Remember the feeling of winning whenever you play! It boosts the self-esteem of players. Furthermore, word games play a stress-reducing role by attracting seniors’ attention while releasing dopamine hormones as they play.
Promote Social Interactions
People should play some of the word games like Hangman and Rhyming ball in groups. Group games can increase social interaction among seniors. It is clear that social connections in older adults lead to less depression and enhance their life quality.
Reduce the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Having more social interaction and keeping the brain active are two essential factors that reduce dementia and Alzheimer’s. Any activities that sharpen the senior’s brain promote cognitive function and consequently reduce those diseases.
Stimulate Learning New Things and Improve Vocabulary
Some word games involve telling stories, learning new words and expressions. Scientific findings have shown that learning new things (like a new language) can prevent or delay brain diseases.
To solve puzzles or play other word games, you need to concentrate and focus on the subject to win.
Top Word Games for Seniors
The good news is that such games help with memory can be applied as hobbies for seniors. On the other hand, today’s technology provides new opportunities for human health from both physical and mental perspectives. Today several non-digital and app games help with working memory that seniors can enjoy.
The top 10 word games for seniors, including both analogue and app, are as follow:
- Witty Words
- Rhyming ball
- Crossword puzzles
- Complete the saying
- Team stories
- Wheel of fortune
Do Word Games Really Help Your Brain?
People with dementia disease mainly suffer from damaging frontal and temporal parts of their brain. These two parts are responsible for decision making, critical thinking, etc. However, there is no clear evidence that playing word games can reverse those brain damages since these games don’t affect frontal and temporal brain lobs. So, relying solely on word games to prevent progressing dementia disease would not be enough.
On the contrary, the brain is a super complex organ. It comprises several parts, and the function of each part has direct or indirect effects on other parts. Brain experts and scientists both have been trying to understand the mechanism of it. Some scientists claim that brain games can increase the cognitive function of seniors’ brains. As mentioned earlier, cognitive decline can be associated with lower mental and physical health (like diabetes and depression), poorer daily decision-making, and increased healthcare costs. So, doing any activity like the brain or word games that promotes brain function can be of great use.
Based on a scientific study on people age 70-79, the higher frequency of -playing word games led to less cognitive decline. In addition, there has been evidence that word games can positively affect less intrusive memories after analogue trauma (Hagenaars et al., 2017).
Generally speaking, the goal of playing word games should be their stress-relieving, fun, and social interaction benefits. Playing such games purely to improve brain functions is not advisable since deeply complex crossword puzzles can impair multitasking. It means that during playing, the brain needs to relax and recharge time! So, go easy on your brain and do word games for fun and leisure is not a viable factor in enhancing the brain’s cognitive health.
Word games are subclasses of brain training games. There is no clear evidence that such games are helpful to boost the cognitive function of a senior’s brain. However, due to the super complex nature of human brain mechanisms, they recommend doing word/brain games for fun. Such games can increase senior’s language and speaking skills and enhance social interactions. However, these games can increase brain activity, and this can prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. Several non-app and app word games are available today that seniors can enjoy.