Training Your Brain

Senior woman holding ink drawing of brain

It’s Brain Awareness Week! At Home to Home, we’re celebrating by bringing to you some activities for training your brain.

As we grow older, it’s important to help your mind stay sharp. The risk of dementia doubles every five years after age 65. Research has shown that lifestyle factors can significantly affect your chances of getting dementia. One key factor is the amount of mental stimulation someone gets, so keeping your mind working is essential.

Training your brain doesn’t have to be boring! Games that are good for improving or maintaining cognitive function have some key underlying features. Activities which are new to you are generally great brain activities. If you’re familiar with an activity, there’s less opportunity for your brain to become stimulated from it. So choose something fun, challenging, and if possible, allows you to build on what you’ve learned previously.
Here are some ideas to get those brain juices flowing.

Online Brain Trainers
A number of websites and apps offer entertaining games specific for warding off dementia. Don’t want to spend money on training your brain? Not to worry. Below are some brain trainers. These brain training sites also have phone apps for your phone are also available for download.

Lumosity (free and paid versions available)
Dakim (paid)
Fit Brains (free and paid versions available)
Cognito (Paid app only)

Strategy Games
Do you like Chess? Risk? Studies have shown that games which require strategizing can help improve cognitive function, and potentially ward off dementia. Strategy games are often challenging, and require the player to think a few steps ahead. This leads to an increased stimulation of the mind, which can help ward off dementia and memory loss.

Mental Math
Sudokus, making yourself do some mental arithmetic (instead of using your calculator), and even card games can be good for your mind.
Various websites are available to test and improve your math ability. For more math games, check out:

Word Games
Scrabble, Crossword Puzzles, and other word based games can help you stay sharp. No one to play with? No worries! There are many online sites which will pair you up with other players. Find out more at:

Learning Something New
As previously mentioned, challenging yourself is absolutely key. Learning something completely new is a great way to do this. Try learning a new language or musical instrument. It may be difficult, but the challenge may be very rewarding.

Why not try one of these activities out? You never know when you might come across a fun new game or activity that helps you stay sharp, happy, and healthy.