Gifts for the Aging: Large Piece Jigsaw Puzzles
Today, January 29th, is National Puzzle Day. It reminded me how much seniors enjoy relaxing with a jigsaw puzzle. In every assisted living or memory care I’ve visited, I have always found a few people sitting in an alcove or at a table in the living room working on a jigsaw puzzle.
Not all are still able to do them, but it was one of the last games or puzzles Mom was able to play. When I work on a jigsaw puzzle there is something about piecing it together that gives me a sense of accomplishment. I bet they feel that way too. Even if it is relaxing, there is a sense of doing something, of being productive.
If you are looking for a little gift to take a senior, whether to a private home or to a facility, a puzzle is a great idea. You can find old fashioned scenes, flowers, animals, all sorts of designs that are colorful and eye catching. If you can stay awhile, it is something fun you can do with your senior as well. Puzzles are even more fun when done together.
Features to look for in a puzzle
There are a few key things to remember when you are choosing one. First and most important I think, is to go for the large piece puzzles. They are easier to pick up and handle. A good thing for stiff or arthritic fingers. It is easier to see them and place them for any with vision issues. If you are in a residence facility, some might try to put them in their mouths. Bigger helps stop that.
Besides that it helps to look for designs that are bright and colorful. Darker ones may be more difficult to deal with. If the design has several areas of color, that too makes it easier to work on, section by section. As you can see in the puzzle here, it has several distinctive areas to assemble. The more success any of us have at a puzzle, the more it encourages us to continue.
Lastly, find one that has 300 pieces or a max of 500 pieces. That way it doesn’t take as much time to complete, plus it doesn’t take as much space. 300 seems to be the favorite for most.
Charles Wysocki has a wonderful selection. There are plenty of others to choose from too. I’ve include links below to some of my favorites to give you some ideas.
Puzzles of all kinds are so much fun, for all ages too. If the senior you are buying for is still high functioning, crosswords or word search puzzles seem to be the most popular. Available in large print too, which can be helpful. Mom’s doctor once prescribed crosswords for mom. He wrote on an actual prescription form “do two crosswords a day.” She did them too, as long as she was able.
When she was unable to complete them, I found her one day looking at the answer page and filling them in that way. Pretty clever she could remember that even if she couldn’t find the words in her mind. Another sweet memory along the journey.
Anything you can do to help the aging continue to keep their brain active and working is a good thing. I hope you’ll bring one along on your next visit to see them.
Light, colorful, distinctive designs