5 Ways Jigsaw Puzzles Benefit Stroke Survivors

In the United States, about 800,000 people suffer a stroke every year. Stroke victims experience a loss of motor skills, trouble speaking, and moving one side of their body is frequently a challenge. Luckily, not all people that have strokes pass away. In fact, there are thousands of rehab centers around the country help individuals recover from these traumatic events. One thing rehab therapists use to help stroke victims feel better is puzzles. Surprisingly, these activities have tons of therapeutic advantages. This article will discuss five ways jigsaw puzzles benefit stroke survivors trying to recover.


Cognitive Thinking Skills

A stroke occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is interrupted. One side effect of this is lower cognitive thinking skills. Luckily, there are a number of things rehab facilities can do to improve these behaviors. One example of a helpful tool is a puzzle. Puzzles force people to use cognitive thinking skills when they have to put the pieces together. This is why many hospitals suggest that stroke patients do puzzles. These activities make people who’ve had strokes use the parts of their brains that might have been affected. Hopefully, after some time, the affected area may start to show improvement.

Improved Motor Skills

Another significant side effect of strokes is experiencing decreased motor skills. For example, stroke survivors may have difficulty grasping things they could once handle. People can practice this skill by putting together a puzzle. Individuals can concentrate on picking up the puzzle pieces and turning them in their hands. MasterPieces has EZ Grip puzzles for this exact purpose. We aim to help stroke survivors regain their motor skills, so we created puzzles that are bigger and easier for them to grab. After attempting several puzzles, their grip will hopefully improve.

Better Memory

Memory is another thing that may be impacted after a stroke. When the brain doesn’t have the blood flow it needs, things like memory become harder to retain. Fortunately, puzzles are an excellent way for stroke survivors to regain their memory skills. By consistently redoing the same puzzle over and over again, stroke survivors may begin to remember where the pieces go. Furthermore, puzzles are a great tool for memory retention because they’re fun and more interactive than other memory-related activities.

Regaining Hand-Eye Coordination

A person’s hand-eye coordination may worsen after a stroke, depending on what part of the brain was affected. For this reason, workers at rehab facilities try to get their patients to regain this skill. Puzzles are one tool that these professionals use to help them in this task. By putting pieces where they belong, stroke survivors can better understand the relationship between their hands and eyes. Yet, before testing out this puzzle theory, professionals should keep these crucial things in mind:

  • Don’t make a stroke survivor complete a puzzle right after their stroke. Give their minds time to rest before you start any sort of rehabilitation.
  • Increase the difficulty as the patient gets better at completing puzzles. For example, MasterPieces have 300 piece puzzles for seniors that are perfect for those trying to challenge themselves after a stroke.
  • Leave a picture of the puzzle nearby so that the patient can easily see the image they’re trying to put together.

Minimal Stress Rehabilitation Environment

Recovering after a stroke is a process. Sometimes, it takes years for survivors to partially regain the skills they lost. Typically, the only way to recover from a stroke is through intensive rehab. Physicians may recommend occupational, speech, and physical therapy to get the person back to where they were prior to the stroke. Although these therapies are helpful, they can put a lot of stress and wear on a patient. This is why puzzles are such an excellent option for stroke survivors. Unlike intense therapies, puzzles offer a low-stress environment in which the person can recover. The benefits of jigsaw puzzles for stroke survivors prove that puzzles are therapeutic, despite being a recreational activity.

So far, this article has discussed how beneficial jigsaw puzzles are. Yet, it would be remiss not to talk about other puzzles that stroke survivors can complete to improve brain health. Some include the following:

  • Word searches can help improve a person’s visual skills they may have lost as a result of the incident.
  • Sudoku puzzles can help improve neural function by forcing patients to place numbers in the correct spots.
  • Spot the difference puzzles can also help strengthen visual skills that may have been lost after the stroke. By staring at the entire picture, patients will be forced to look in different directions, regaining an ability they may have lost after the traumatic experience.

Who knew that puzzles could be so therapeutic? This piece has shown that jigsaw puzzles can be an incredibly beneficial tool for those who suffer from this brain injury. For starters, jigsaw puzzles force people to think about shapes, sizes, and where pieces should go. By doing these simple things, stroke survivors may improve their neural functioning skills. Puzzles can also assist in improving motor skills and hand-eye coordination. People can lose the ability to control their muscles after a stroke. Puzzles, combined with occupational therapy, can help individuals regain these talents.

Jigsaw puzzles can also assist in increasing people’s memory. If someone does the same puzzle repeatedly, they’ll begin to remember where the pieces go. Additionally, puzzle making is a low-stress rehabilitation activity, and stroke survivors must undergo intense therapies. As a result, they deserve to have less-pressure activities built into their rehab schedules.

Here at MasterPieces, we’re proud to offer these low-stress rehabilitation tools. We have so many jigsaw puzzles of different shapes and sizes that are perfect for people who are just beginning to solve puzzles. We’re also proud to offer puzzles with EZ Grip that contain bigger pieces that are easier to put together. These EZ Grip puzzles are excellent for those trying to regain their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. So, check out our selection of jigsaw puzzles today so that the stroke survivor in your life can begin their healing process. Another benefit puzzles offer is that people will have a blast putting them together!