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7 Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles for the Elderly

As we age, our social circles grow smaller because our children have left home. Read to learn benefits of jigsaw puzzles for elderly.

As we age, our social circles grow smaller because our faithful companions like children have left home. Isolation can negatively affect mental health, especially for the elderly. Read to learn how playing jigsaw puzzles improves the mental health of your beloved senior, and learn benefits of jigsaw puzzles for elderly.

The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation with the curfews and lockdowns. The elderly are more isolated than before.

Nevertheless, they’re healthy distractions that can keep the elderly busy while improving mental health. These, so to say, healthy distractions can be puzzles, crosswords, and various board games. Puzzles help not only to improve mental well-being but also to keep cognitive abilities sharp. There are a lot of convenient buying options that are available for elders such as online stores, and special apps that make puzzle buying even easier. They or their family members can buy jigsaw puzzles online without traveling to physical stores. Additionally, online stores often have a wider collection of puzzles to choose from, so seniors can find puzzles that are more suited to their interests and abilities. They can easily browse through different puzzle options, read reviews, and make purchases at their own pace and convenience, without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Having several different themed puzzles with various sizes and piece counts at hand is a good start when you don’t know your skill level yet. We share with you the 7 mental health benefits of jigsaw puzzles for the elderly.

1.      Improved Mood

Jigsaw puzzles require creativity to put together. When you successfully assemble a puzzle, it lightens regions of your brain. It leads to the release of a chemical called dopamine that is associated with happiness in humans. Hence playing jigsaw puzzles as an elder improves your mood, self-esteem, and overall mental health.

2.     Better Reasoning

Logic or reason is the building block in problem-solving. When you’re playing a puzzle you’ve to first use your mind to create a picture in your head before making the move. It enhances your ability to reason. It means you can make better judgments and decisions.

Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine report that playing jigsaw puzzles improves cognition, visual-spatial reasoning, short-term memory, and problem-solving skills.

3.     Better Focus

Solving a jigsaw puzzle requires attention to detail. You need to match colors and complex shapes that closely resemble each other. Consequently, you need to pay close attention when assembling the puzzle. It improves your ability to focus and pay greater attention. As a senior, this ability spills over to other areas of life.

For instance, playing a jigsaw puzzle may motivate you to start and finish the post-retirement projects you’ve been postponing.

4.     Relieves Stress

Seniors experience stress because of the pressure coming from their past deeds. Some seniors are worried about their health, financial status, achievements, children, or failures in life. Playing puzzles is mentally engaging and players are immersed in the game.

It relieves stress by making the elderly forget about their problems. So, where do you get free online jigsaw puzzles for elderly? To play free puzzles and sharpen your problem solving skills go to JS Puzzles.

5.     Relieve Anxiety

Playing puzzles helps relieve anxiety by making you concentrate on one thing. It relaxes your mind and puts it in a meditative state. In this state, you feel calm and forget your problems. If you’re anxious because of your debts, then playing puzzles can help deal with the anxiety by distracting your mind.

6.     Sharpens Your Problem-Solving Skills

A study published in the National Library of Medicine indicates that playing jigsaw puzzles improves multiple areas of cognition. They include perception, memory, speed, flexibility, reasoning, and short-term memory. These cognitive abilities tend to decline as we age and retire. Taking part in activities that jog them like playing puzzles improves your problem-solving skills.

7.     Improve Short-Term Memory

We need working short-term memory to perform our daily duties. However, short-term memory is one of the most affected by mental disorders associated with aging like dementia. Playing puzzles exercises your short-term memory. Like a muscle when the mind is exercised it becomes stronger.

Using your short-term memory to perform complex tasks like assembling a jigsaw strengthens it. An efficient working memory enables you to multitask like in younger years. A better short-term memory also means you don’t have to struggle to remember where you placed your keys.

Reasoning enables you to see the cost and the benefits of your actions. Playing puzzles improves your ability to tell the consequences of your actions in advance. Whether the block fits.

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