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The Joys and Benefits of the Jigsaw

For many people, there’s nothing more satisfying than perfectly assembling two jigsaw pieces together and systematically going through the same process with every single section of the puzzle to finally create a masterpiece. At Rusthall Lodge Care Home, we have some avid puzzlers among our residents who really enjoy the tranquil and relaxing effects puzzle solving can bring.

The benefits of puzzle solving

Providing care home residents with activities is vital for social engagement and can come in a variety of forms. Often, these activities are organised for groups or as one-to-ones which are commonly led by an activity co-ordinator. But many residents enjoy to spend their down time reading, sitting and relaxing or (as is the case at Rusthall Lodge Care Home) working on a jigsaw puzzle.

Our experience over the years shows us that jigsaw puzzles bring  a number of benefits for the elderly, including improved visual perception and recognition and increased interaction with others, creating easy opportunities for conversation with peers and time to bond. Furthermore, studies similar to the notable MacArthur Study show that completing tasks such as puzzle-solving releases the feel-good chemical dopamine into the brain, making us feel happy and satisfied.

Our puzzle-solving residents

Here at Rushall Lodge Care Home, we have two avid jigsaw puzzlers who have very different outlooks on completing jigsaw puzzles. Ron has completed a number of jigsaws since he joined Rusthall Lodge, but he insists he’ll only take on a 500-word puzzle. On the other hand, Nancy insists on stretching herself to 1,000 pieces on a regular basis: “I love doing jigsaws, they keep me out of mischief,” she admits. Her most recent undertaking is a beautiful Egyptian triptych printed in glorious deep blues, turquoises, rich yellows and gold. It’s made up of two 500-piece jigsaws with a central 1000-piece picture.Nancy's jigsaw

Even when there's an organised activity happening (which is every day), Ron still enjoys nothing more than sitting and doing his jigsaw every afternoon after lunch. He even expressly asked for a puzzle for his Christmas present from Rusthall Lodge Care Home last year: “I enjoy doing them. People stop for a chat and try to help me out which I don’t mind. I’m not keen on doing a puzzle that’s more than 500 pieces though; they take too long. I’ve done loads of them!” After completing a puzzle, Ron is always keen on having a photograph taken of them and he keeps them as a memento in his room.

In recent years, many Care Homes have gained access to technologies such as iPads, allowing residents to enjoy numerous new things that weren’t possible before. Rusthall Lodge Care Home residents enjoy using the tablets for Skype and email to keep in touch with their families, but also for fun new ways to pass the time, such as taking part in reminiscence quizzes, listening to music and of course, doing electronic jigsaws!

There’s no doubt that jigsaw puzzles are one of many activities that can engage care home residents on a very calming level. Even staff and visitors cannot resist the opportunity of putting a piece in place if a jigsaw is left unattended on an activity table in a corridor – and we love encouraging our residents to keep their minds and fingers active.

Looking for a care home for you, or a loved one, to Live Your Life?

Call 01892 556 500 to arrange a visit to Rusthall Lodge Care Home

Serving Rusthall, Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas in Kent and Sussex

Residential care, Nursing care, Respite care

Written on 18th March 2019

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