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Alzheimers Care & Chess: Brain games in the San Francisco Bay Area

According to the Alzheimer’s Association site, Alzheimers is the 6th leading cause of death in the USA.1 Thus, learning more about the disease and seeking any possible means to slow its progression is vital! One way that may help San Francisco Bay Area seniors receiving Alzheimers care is by playing chess. This ancient strategy game offers a unique approach to stimulating the brain. NuevaCare offers more insight below.

Can seniors receiving Alzheimers care benefit from chess?

Alzheimers Care and Chess: Brain games in the San Francisco Bay Area

Photo credit: gabrielsaldana via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Just like Jack who jumped over the candlestick, our brains have to be nimble and quick to keep up with the constant use we put it to on a daily basis. However, the brain may atrophy over time if it isn’t regularly stimulated. Alzheimers care aides can encourage San Francisco Bay Area seniors to engage in brain games such as chess to prolong elasticity in the mind.

Chess is a game that’s excited and stumped generations of players. It’s deceptively simple-looking, but has a cult following and even its own Olympiad. Chess gets its complexity from the players who play it…San Francisco Bay Area seniors who can mentally visualize the game and “see” many different potential sequences of events will do well. In this sense, chess is a very abstract game and requires an ability to free-associate potential weaknesses with a range of potential solutions.

However, good chess players will spend time studying the Grandmasters and famous strategies to learn how to attack and defend the game pieces. Memorization of proven solutions is key here. This emphasis on memorization is perfect for seniors receiving Alzheimers care. Caregivers can encourage seniors to memorize chess strategies for fun, which will simultaneously help the senior in combating his or her disease!

Speed chess is truly fascinating to watch and is played with a time clock that players slap to check out when finished making game moves. This increases the challenge to an even higher level. Seniors who are proficient at playing chess already may want the extra brain stimulation of speed chess.

NuevaCare’s caregivers can offer advanced Alzheimers care to San Francisco Bay Area seniors. Chess is a great way to stimulate the brain and is a fun way for seniors to interact and socialize with other people. If chess isn’t the game of choice for your senior, there are many other options to choose from. Think about the brain as a big roadmap. A healthy brain will have big “highways,” well-paved “bridges” and clearly marked “exits.” An Alzheimers sufferer, however, has small “gravel roads” and damaged “bridges.” Brain games can hopefully improve the quality of life for seniors and “maintain their roads” for as long as possible.

Sources: (1) http://www.alz.org/facts/ | https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46975/jack-be-nimble | http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129628082 | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess

Alzheimers Care & Chess: Brain games in the San Francisco Bay Area
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