Jigsaw Puzzles are fun, but they are also good for you. Research has shown jigsaw puzzles are not just good for people with healthy brains, but there are also lots of benefits for those who have already received a dementia diagnosis.
Here are 5 reasons why Jigsaw Puzzles are good for your brain?
1. Jigsaw Puzzles are Stimulating.
Doing a jigsaw puzzle requires you to use both sides of your brain. The right side is the creative side and works intuitively on the big picture. The left side of the brain is the analytical side and works things out logically. Using both sides of the brain helps keep these connections strong which is what we need for a healthy brain. The good news is, for an individual who already has dementia it can slow the worsening of the symptoms.
2. Jigsaw Puzzles make you Feel Good.
Completing a jigsaw puzzle makes you feel good. For someone with dementia even just adding one piece to a puzzle can give an individual a wonderful sense of productivity and accomplishment especially in a day where they may not be called upon to achieve very much. An opportunity to rise to a challenge can give someone a real lift.
3. Jigsaw Puzzles can be Calming.
It has been found that a person working on a jigsaw puzzle can move into a meditative frame of mind. As one quietly focuses on the task their brain moves from the Beta state, where it is wide awake, into the dreamlike Alpha state. The benefits of being in this mode are it lowers your breathing rate, slows the heart rate and reduces blood pressure. So jigsaw puzzles are also a very good activity to help someone who is feeling restless or anxious.
4. Jigsaw Puzzles help you Retain Skills.
The ability to locate and pick up objects and put them together uses fine motor skills. These are skills we develop as young children and then tend to generally take for granted in our adult life. We want to retain these skills in our senior years so fun things that encourage us to use these skills are helpful. Jigsaw puzzles also offer an opportunity to practice problem solving and perseverance skills.
5. Jigsaw Puzzles help you Socialise.
Working on a jigsaw puzzle with someone else is a great way of creating a feeling of connection. People of different ages and abilities can work together. It is also an activity that can be done socially with someone you don’t know very well. Interestingly the feeling of connection can last after a companion has left, where a person can still feel a sense of community from contributing towards a project they see as a group endeavour.
Finding a jigsaw puzzle to suit an individual is important. You need to gauge the right level for the person and choose a puzzle that will challenge them but not overwhelm them. And this includes those without dementia too. Think realistically how much time and patience do you or the one you are thinking of have to finish a jigsaw puzzle, and keep it a fun challenge.
At Mindjig we have a range of puzzles suitable for different abilities. Including a range of 12 piece puzzles which have been designed specifically for adults with cognitive challenges.