Fighting Dementia with a Puzzle

The challenge of fighting dementia is seen as one of the biggest health crises of our time.  A lot has been said and done to promote healthy living and incorporate various aspects of it in our everyday lives – avoiding junk food, exercising, taking vitamins etc. have all been a major points in the check-list so far. Perhaps not enough has been said about brain health and the effect puzzles have on the way our brains work; and more importantly, how they can help.  

Research shows that solving puzzle games helps Alzheimers and Dementia sufferers

Given the continual concern about the high number of people developing and suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, (worldwide) research studies are ongoing.  One of the main objectives to try to find ways to preserve mental health, the main area of research including ‘easily accessible tools’ from the everyday life.

The best thing to do is to give Sudoku a go

Research findings have highlighted:

  • Taking vitamins, supplements or other medicines and drugs (including the popular ginkgo and Omega-3) if the main aim is to slow down or avoid dementia.
  • Exercising – which was considered highly useful for preserving one’s mental health – also showed little or no effect.
  • Solving puzzles has so many benefits!  It appears that the solution to the problem is… solving puzzles, in particular, the humble sudoku!

According to the researchers, people who have undergone mental training including logic grid puzzles such as Sudoku performed better at the follow-up trials even after five years. It turned out that their memory has actually improved. Playing the ever popular crossword puzzle was also beneficial.

Many Sudoku fans claim that they solve the puzzles for the following reasons:

  • It helps them calm down,
  • Focus and order their minds.
  • Sudoku is an effective tool to detach yourself from the chaotic world and have some peace of mind– a feeling that remains for the rest of the day and proves effective in carrying out all the daily tasks.

Well, after all these opinions from scientists and puzzle solvers, there is only one thing we can advise you – try it! Spend half an hour of your time and see if a Sudoku is your cup of tea.  Challenge yourself as part of your daily puzzling regimen.  You will try something new, make a step towards preserving your brain health, and – something equally important – clear your mind and prepare it for the busy working day. 

The benefits of puzzling in a social environment

They say two heads are better than one, and this is particularly so when solving puzzles.  Socially interacting with like-minded people and working through a puzzle is an activity that is extremely helpful for an individual’s self esteem and mental wellbeing.  This is particularly so if the puzzlers are suffering from dementia.  Essentially, it takes the pressure off one person to come up with all the answers because there is a knowledge pool to draw upon, and everyone contributes.

Clue Detective is a firm believer in community puzzling, and one of the best ways to get involved at your public library; who needs to subscribe in order for patrons to gain access.  Puzzlers can then choose to solve a (sudoku) puzzle on their own, or participate in a group puzzling activity within the library or via Zoom.  These can easily adapted to become dementia-friendly, and may help to ease the sufferers’ symptoms; even if it is only for a short time.

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