According to a study conducted by the Mayo clinic, mentally stimulating activities can prevent cognitive impairments in the elderly. This research confirms what many have already known or hoped – brain games and crafts can possibly ward off cognitive impairments. In the study, crafts were connected to a 28% decreased risk of mild cognitive impairment, computer use decreased the probability of impairment by 30% and socialization decreased it by 23%.
The study was not controlled and researchers were unable to conclude if brain games directly warded off cognitive decline. However, it is clear that mentally stimulating activities are worthwhile, especially as you age. In order to be useful, activities should be challenging for the brain such as a difficult board game, craft, learning how to use new technology or a new activity. These activities are also great to do with grandchildren, loved ones or at a local senior center.