By Donna Mischke, Director of Family Services at Concierge Care Advisors

My latest obsession is the New York Times game called Wordle. I had heard about it many months ago, but my daughter is the one who suggested I should try it. Since then, I have looked forward to playing this quick little puzzle every day. I wake up every morning and can’t wait to have my cup of coffee out in the sun while I watch my dog run around the yard and I get my brain to work. Wordle is a web-based word game that came out in early 2022. Players have six chances to guess a five-letter word. Feedback is given when you have the correct letters for the word or correct letters in the correct place. It can be challenging and can definitely work the brain muscles.

We all know that keeping our brain healthy and active can slow down memory loss and help with other mental problems. Studies have shown that brain training can really be beneficial and may even help in reducing the chances of dementia or Alzheimer’s. When the mind is being kept active, the thinking part of the brain is less likely to decline. There are currently no sure fixes to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s; however, there are ways to delay the symptoms and keep the mind working better for a longer period of time. By keeping the brain active with exercise or other brain challenging tasks, brain cells can actually multiply. This supports the growth of new nerve cells and sends messages to the other nerve cells to reproduce.

Experts agree that there are many ways to exercise the brain. As we get older, we should continue to read and learn as we have always done. Learning to play a musical instrument or learning a new language is a great way to challenge the brain and get those brain cells multiplying. Other activities like playing board games or new card games are not only great for the brain but also include socialization which will stimulate the brain. Working on crossword puzzles or other kinds of puzzles that challenge the mind are very beneficial. Apparently even online video games and memory games can help.

To stay mentally sharp and possibly delay or ward off diseases such as dementia, experts agree that one should always be learning new information and constantly challenging the brain. Certain puzzles will train different parts of the brain. It is important to train these different areas by playing different games and learning new skills. Exercising the brain is as important as exercising the body.