5 Tips for Senior Crossword Puzzle Beginners

By Pete Lane, 8:43 pm on

Crossword puzzles have many cognitive benefits for seniors who can enjoy an engaging word game while boosting their memory. Yet, those who are new to completing crosswords may need some help getting started. These 4 tips from Home Care Assistance of Centennial, CO will help to keep the game fun and stimulating while easing the frustrations most commonly encountered by beginners.

  1. Use a Pencil – It may seem fun to use multicolored pens or markers on a crossword puzzle, but even the smallest of mistakes can lead to an incomplete puzzle. In the beginning, use a pencil so that guesses can easily be erased if they turn out to be a false lead.
  2. Start with Fill-in-the-Blank Clues – Crossword puzzle clues can range from simple to confusing, and fill-in-the-blank clues are usually the easiest to decipher. They also tend to cover a large amount of spaces on the puzzle, which can give a senior a great start to their game.
  3. Understand the Rules – The answer to a clue will always adhere to the same grammar rules as they clue. If a senior gets stuck, then reading through the clues to find obvious endings can help to put some letters on the grid. Just be sure to pencil them in until the correct answer has been identified.
  4. Use Multiple Resources – Looking up answers for a test may be cheating, but when a crossword puzzle is under way, consulting other resources is a great way to get the most out of the game. Dictionaries, thesauruses and word-loving friends and family members are all great resources for finding the right answer to a difficult clue.
  5. Take a Break – Crossword puzzles are similar to other mind-challenging puzzles. Sometimes, it is necessary to take a short break and allow the mind to relax. This simple trick often brings the correct answer to light once a person returns to their puzzle.

Completing and engaging in brain stimulating activities that incorporate variety and complexity such as crossword puzzles can help build a senior’s cognitive reserve, improve focus and attention, and stimulate problem solving skills. While these are all great for overall brain health, they can also play a large role in reducing the risk or effects of memory loss and dementia.

If you have an aging loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia, consider completing crossword puzzles together to enhance cognitive functioning while promoting social ties and offering companionship. You may also want to look into specialty dementia home care in Centennial for assistance with care, help around the home and for respite as caregiving responsibilities become more demanding.

For more information about senior activities or in-home senior care services in southeast suburban Denver, contact Home Care Assistance at 303-957-3100. Available 24/7, a devoted Care Manager would be more than happy to answer any of your questions and can also schedule a free no-obligation consultation to further discuss the care needs of an aging parent, grandparent or loved one.