5 Tips for Sudoku Beginners

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Bayshore Memory Care

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Aug 04, 2023

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Florida - Southwest

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Sudoku, which has gained in popularity in the past dozen or so years, actually originates long before that, and not from where you might expect.

Although “sudoku” is a Japanese word (meaning “digit single”), it got that name only around 1986. Variations of the puzzle first appeared in the 19th century, then reappeared again in 2004 in The Times of London, where it enjoyed a renaissance as a fun brain game.

>> Read “Fun Handheld and Video Games for Seniors

Find out more about how to play sudoku for beginners, why it’s a great game for seniors, some tips for playing it, and more you should know.

Why Sudoku Puzzles Are Good for Seniors

Sudoku is a memory-training activity. Like chess, it encourages you to think a few steps ahead to your next move, which is a good exercise for the brain. 

When people over 50 engage in thought games like sudoku and crossword puzzles, their brains function better, according to a study in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. In fact, study participants who worked such puzzles more than once a day had superior cognitive performance in key areas, such as reasoning, attention and memory.

Here are four areas in which sudoku can help seniors:

  • Concentration – Sudoku makes you think critically, which requires concentration. Since it requires careful thought, you will zero in on what you’re doing.
  • Learning – As you work more puzzles, your speed will increase, which indicates that you’re learning more about the game. The brain enjoys learning, so this may help with other tasks.
  • Memory – Sudoku is all about memory, keeping track of numbers and their location. As you work these puzzles, it will help you sharpen your memory.
  • Relaxation – Taking even 10 minutes to tackle a sudoku puzzle helps pull you away from the other concerns of the day. A short break combined with brain work can help with stress.

5 Best Tips for Playing Sudoku

The rules for sudoku are simple. A 9×9 square must be filled in with numbers from 1-9 with no repeated numbers in each line, horizontally or vertically. To challenge you more, there are 3×3 squares marked out in the grid, and each of these squares can’t have any repeat numbers either. 

The puzzles will help you get started by providing some correct numbers – the fewer numbers provided, the more difficult the puzzle.

Here are a few tips that can help beginners solve sudoku puzzles:

1. Look for the Easy Solutions

Many puzzles will leave one or two blanks either in a line or in a box. A line might be missing a 5 and a 6, but a box along that line will already have a 6 in it, so you know this blank must be a 5, and the other blank must be the 6. The same may be the case for one or two missing numbers in the smaller boxes. Filling these blanks will get you on your way to a solution.

2. Seek the Missing Numbers

As you fill in the easy solutions, you may start to find other missing numbers that are easy to place. In the above example, the box now has a 5, and that may help you solve that 3×3 area, or might help you solve the lines that cross that area. 

3. Keep Scanning the Entire Puzzle

If you get stuck, don’t concentrate too hard on one part of the grid. Let your eye scan the puzzle to find another place on the grid with new possibilities. You may find another quick solution.

4. Constantly Re-Evaluate the Grid

Whenever you place a new number, see if that opens up a new row or box. It might narrow down the possibilities or make another number obvious. If you keep asking yourself which numbers you’re missing in a line or grid, you might find it more quickly.

5. Be Patient and Enjoy the Hunt

Remember that although you want to finish a puzzle, the point is to enjoy the challenge and work your brain as you relax. If you find yourself getting frustrated, walk away. Let your mind clear and try again later. The most important thing is to have fun.

Where To Find Sudoku Games

There are many books with sudoku puzzles available at your neighborhood bookstore or at the supermarket. You can also order these books through sites like Amazon.

There are three other types of sudoku games: online playables, printables and phone or tablet apps. 

Online Playables

There are a number of sites online that will offer playable, easy sudoku puzzles for seniors. Here are a few:

  • AARP – This site for seniors offers several different sudoku games, along with other playable online games like solitaire, arcade games and word games 
  • Seniors Guide – This site has timed puzzles available, with new ones daily. The puzzles are also printable.
  • Seniors Online VIctoria – A website of the government of Victoria, Australia, offers puzzles in Easy, Mild, Hard and Difficult levels.
  • Sudoku.com – This site is from Easybrain, a developer of scores of game apps available for download to a phone or tablet.
  • WebSudoku – This no-frills site offers a new puzzle each day. These are also printable.

Printables

If you can’t have your tablet or laptop with you all the time or your phone screen is too small, or if you just feel more comfortable with paper and pencil, these sites offer free printable sudoku puzzles for seniors.

  • Memory Improvement Tips – This site says it has 100 free sudoku puzzles of various difficulty ready to print out.
  • Puzzles.ca – This Canadian site offers dozens of printable sudoku puzzles. More are added periodically. 
  • Reader’s Digest – This magazine site offers 20 puzzles to print out and try.
  • Seniors Guide – These online puzzles are also printable so you can take them with you.
  • WebSudoku – This site lets you print out new puzzles each day.

Phone or Tablet Apps

Downloading sudoku apps to your phone or tablet can make puzzle solving easier. These apps usually will offer hints or tell you whether your guess is correct so you don’t get off track. 

  • Sudoku by Brainium Studios – This app offers five levels of difficulty. Available for Android or Apple.
  • Web Sudoku – This developer offers different levels for iPad or Android. 
  • Sudoku by Beetles Studio – This developer has sudoku apps for Android or Apple devices. 

Find Time To Have Fun at a Senior Lifestyle Community

Senior Lifestyle communities take care of the everyday tasks of cleaning, washing and cooking, so you have time to relax and enjoy life. We offer care to fit your needs, whether Independent Living, Assisted Living or Memory Care.

Find out more about Senior Lifestyle or schedule a tour today.

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Fun, Easy activities for Seniors in Colorado

Colorado, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant communities, offers a plethora of activities tailored specifically for seniors. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and wellness programs, the state provides numerous opportunities for older adults to stay active, engaged, and healthy. This guide explores some of the best activities for seniors in Colorado, ensuring a fulfilling and enriching lifestyle.1. Outdoor AdventuresHiking and Walking TrailsColorado boasts an extensive network of hiking and walking trails suitable for seniors of all fitness levels. The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, with its stunning red rock formations and easy walking paths, is a popular choice. Similarly, the Boulder Creek Path in Boulder offers a scenic, flat route perfect for a leisurely stroll.For more information, visit the Colorado Trails Explorer website. Bird WatchingWith diverse habitats ranging from grasslands to alpine regions, Colorado is a bird watchers paradise. Seniors can join local bird watching groups or visit hotspots like the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, which is home to over 330 species of birds.Learn more at the Colorado Birding Trail website.2. Cultural ExperiencesMuseums and Art GalleriesColorados rich cultural scene is accessible to seniors who enjoy museums and art galleries. The Denver Art Museum, with its senior-friendly programs and exhibitions, is a must-visit. Additionally, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum offers insights into the states history with senior discounts available.For upcoming exhibits, check out the Denver Art Museum and Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum websites. Theater and Performing ArtsThe states vibrant performing arts scene includes senior-friendly venues like the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts Broadway shows, concerts, and more. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder is another excellent option for seniors who enjoy live theater.Find more details at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Colorado Shakespeare Festival websites.3. Wellness and Fitness ProgramsSenior Fitness ClassesMany community centers and gyms in Colorado offer fitness classes designed specifically for seniors. SilverSneakers, a popular fitness program for older adults, is available in numerous locations across the state. These classes focus on strength, flexibility, and balance, catering to various fitness levels.To find a class near you, visit SilverSneakers.com.Yoga and Tai ChiYoga and Tai Chi are excellent for seniors seeking gentle exercise that enhances flexibility, balance, and mental well-being. Studios like Yoga Pod in Boulder and Tai Chi Colorado Springs provide classes specifically tailored for older adults.Explore more at Yoga Pod Boulder and Tai Chi Colorado Springs websites.4. 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The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and the Georgetown Loop Railroad provide unforgettable journeys through the states picturesque landscapes.Book your ride at Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Georgetown Loop Railroad websites. Hot SpringsColorados hot springs are perfect for seniors seeking relaxation and therapeutic benefits. Locations like Glenwood Hot Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs offer serene environments where seniors can unwind and rejuvenate.Plan your visit to Glenwood Hot Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs websites.6. Educational ProgramsLifelong LearningSeniors in Colorado have access to numerous lifelong learning opportunities. 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Ken Faces Two Fears with a Flight to the Ocean

We all have fears in our lives, and at certain times, most of us would admit that theyve held us back from doing something we wanted.But, when it comes to fear, theres also a silver lining: the feeling of overcoming it and moving forward. And from that day forward, that personal victorythat sense of accomplishment is something we can turn to whenever we need some extra courage.Ken, age 70, is no stranger to adversity and fear. And in this season of his life, hes been reflecting on his fears and is no longer content letting them hold him back.One fear has been with him since he was young. Kens family lived close to an airport while he was growing up. Standing in his backyard, he would look up and marvel at the airplanes coming and going all day long. He wondered what it would be like to be inside one of these planes, looking out the window and floating through the clouds. But paired with his curiosity, a sense of fear was also growing inside him.This fear of heights and flying has followed Ken into adulthood. Adulthood came early for Ken, as hes been working hard to provide for himself and his family for as long as he can remember. In fact, Ken was already working at age 12.Ken had a job in a state park close to his home. One day, while Ken was helping remove debris in the park, a falling tree knocked him into the water. Ken was stuck, and he remained submerged until he was rescued.It was a terrifying moment that has stayed with him since that day, resulting in a deep fear of water.Its true that Ken has faced many obstacles and heartbreak throughout his life. But hes never allowed that to stop him from working hard, especially when it comes to providing for others. Ken is proud to have raised a family, including adopting two children with his wife, Elizabeth. He shared that this has made him the proudest and happiest hes ever been.Those who know Ken well would tell you hes the kind of person who shows he cares through his actions. Like how he mowed his mothers lawn for over a decade, caring for her until she passed away three years ago.Ken was everyones favorite BINGO caller at his local church and would help them with maintenance and by fixing things whenever he could. The same goes for any neighbor or friendall they had to do was ask, and Ken would be there.Kens dedication and generosity have kept him continually working, and not having many opportunities to do something meaningful for himself. But, recently, Ken has expressed the urge to conquer his fears.When Wish of a Lifetime heard Kens story, we were honored at the chance to help him take some time for himselfand to face his fears in the process by flying on a commercial flight for the first time.When asked what this experience would mean to him, Ken said, Id be happyId get to do something I never did and face my fear of going high.But thats not the only fear Ken would face during his wish of a lifetime!Every flight must have a destination, and Kens was the ocean. Ken was thrilled to share this special trip with his wife Elizabeth. Together, they flew from Pennsylvania all the way to Florida, landing in Tampa.Kens first time on an airplane was positive, and he said the flight felt like riding in a Cadillacit was so smooth.After they arrived at sunny Clearwater Beach, they could see the glittering, white sand welcoming them. Hand in hand, Ken and Elizabeth walked across the beach, taking in all the sights and smells of the ocean.I think he was amazed, Elizabeth said, describing the moment when Ken saw the ocean for the first time in his life. With deep emotion breaking up her voice, she expressed how much the experience meant to them both.Thank you guys very much, I dont know how to express the thank you, I really enjoyed it, she said.As he stood with the tide tickling his feet, Ken felt the warmth of the sunshine on his back, but also the glow of pride from within him.I feel this would make me fulfilled that I overcame two lifelong fears, he said.Reflecting on his wish, Ken said he hoped his story could help others to do the same, at any age. And, to keep hope alive, even through challenging times:Keep your nose to the grindstone, he said. Someday, something good will happen.

Local Services By This Author

Bayshore Memory Care

Memory Care 1260 Creekside Boulevard E., Naples, Florida, 34109

Senior Lifestyle offers a range of lifestyle options designed to fit your unique needs and preferences. Explore our communities and discover the upscale amenities and friendly team members that make Senior Lifestyle a standout choice for senior living.Located in Naples, Florida, Bayshore Memory Care provides award-winning memory care services, including our Embrace Memory Care program for those with Alzheimers or other dementia. Our program is built on the principles of Wellness, Enrichment, Challenge, Connection, and Creativity, guiding our philosophy and providing meaningful opportunities for engagement and socialization.At Bayshore Memory Care, residents enjoy beautiful spaces designed for bright days, with floor plans up to 600 sq ft and rates starting at $6,600*. Our community is undergoing exciting renovations to enhance our residents' experience, with updates that honor the history and beauty of Naples.Our amenities include a beauty and barber shop, dining rooms, a sunroom, planned social activities, a spacious activity and entertainment room, courtyard, whirlpool bath and spa, complimentary Wi-Fi, smoke-free environment, rehabilitation gym, and library. Dining is a highlight, with restaurant-style meals prepared by our chef to be delicious and nutritional.We take pride in our inviting atmosphere and compassionate staff who go above and beyond to deliver unmatched services. Our Embrace Memory Care program creates a lifestyle for residents, offering structure and routine while promoting stimulation, purpose, and joy.With 24-hour care available and a calendar full of engaging activities, Bayshore Memory Care is a community where residents can live well and connect with others. Contact us to schedule a visit and experience the award-winning memory care at Bayshore Memory Care in Naples, Florida.

Bayshore Memory Care

Assisted Living 1260 Creekside Boulevard E., Naples, Florida, 34109

Senior Lifestyle offers a range of lifestyle options designed to fit your unique needs and preferences. Explore our communities and discover the upscale amenities and friendly team members that make Senior Lifestyle a standout choice for senior living.Located in Naples, Florida, Bayshore Memory Care provides award-winning memory care services, including our Embrace Memory Care program for those with Alzheimers or other dementia. Our program is built on the principles of Wellness, Enrichment, Challenge, Connection, and Creativity, guiding our philosophy and providing meaningful opportunities for engagement and socialization.At Bayshore Memory Care, residents enjoy beautiful spaces designed for bright days, with floor plans up to 600 sq ft and rates starting at $6,600*. Our community is undergoing exciting renovations to enhance our residents' experience, with updates that honor the history and beauty of Naples.Our amenities include a beauty and barber shop, dining rooms, a sunroom, planned social activities, a spacious activity and entertainment room, courtyard, whirlpool bath and spa, complimentary Wi-Fi, smoke-free environment, rehabilitation gym, and library. Dining is a highlight, with restaurant-style meals prepared by our chef to be delicious and nutritional.We take pride in our inviting atmosphere and compassionate staff who go above and beyond to deliver unmatched services. Our Embrace Memory Care program creates a lifestyle for residents, offering structure and routine while promoting stimulation, purpose, and joy.With 24-hour care available and a calendar full of engaging activities, Bayshore Memory Care is a community where residents can live well and connect with others. Contact us to schedule a visit and experience the award-winning memory care at Bayshore Memory Care in Naples, Florida.