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Closeup of a senior woman’s hands solving a jigsaw puzzle on a table.

4 Surprising Benefits of Solving Jigsaw Puzzles


When you put all the pieces together, jigsaw puzzles are more than a way to pass the time. Studies show that solving puzzles might help reduce stress, improve memory, and increase mindfulness. Plus, they can be a lot of fun – and that counts for something, too! With that in mind, here are four ways solving jigsaw puzzles can improve your senior loved one's life.

The Health Benefits

The act of figuring out and putting together a jigsaw puzzle is a great brain exercise that might lead to a number of benefits, including improving short-term memory, reducing stress, and enhancing cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. Completing jigsaw puzzles provides a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment – it feels good to have a goal and see it through. Smaller actions like putting together a puzzle can be an enjoyable way to forge a more purpose-driven life for seniors.

When choosing a puzzle for your loved one, consider their particular skill level, abilities, and interests. No need to start with a monochromatic 3,000-piece puzzle! Start small, and go from there. Don't forget, you can find puzzles with large pieces that make the pieces easier to see and pick up.

Rekindling Interests

Jigsaw puzzles come in so many different themes, and they can be a fantastic way to put your loved one in touch with their hobbies and interests. If they have been missing traveling, pick up a puzzle themed after their favorite locale! Have they always loved music? There are plenty of puzzles that incorporate just about every instrument or musical artist you can imagine. Think about your loved one's passions and bring them to life in the form of a puzzle.

Good Fun Leads to Better Health

While jigsaw puzzles are indeed much more than just a way to pass the time, they are still enjoyable to do – and that's important! As we touched on in our blog on how video games can improve your senior loved one's life, playtime is integral to your well-being. Playing helps adults stay sharp, maintain a positive outlook, and connect with others.

Social Connection

Doing a puzzle can be a fun solitary activity, but it's also a joy to have a friend join in. Currently, it may not be possible to sit down side by side and solve a puzzle together with your loved one. But the good thing about puzzles is that they can be taken apart and put together again. If your loved one gets into them, you can even plan to bring along a special puzzle for the next time you're together.

All the Pieces Fit

For more tips on helping your loved one live their best life, visit the Brightwater Senior Living blog.

Living Well