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'Senior Smart Puzzles' offer age-appropriate challenges

We do crosswords, word jumbles and the like to keep our brains sharp, we hope. But for the oldest among us, those types of puzzles may eventually be too difficult. A series of softcover books might do the trick. Sort of like the kids' magazine Highlights, but designed for adults with diminished concentration, dexterity and perhaps eyesight, Senior Smart Puzzles offers mazes, hidden object games and the "what's the same, what's different" picture puzzles.

They're not hard for most of us. But you might have a family member who would enjoy these puzzles.

The challenges may be simple, but the themes are not childish. "Seniors can really relate to the vintage pictures. This reminiscing encourages conversation and communication," said Sally Bogner, a coordinator of adult respite day care and an Alzheimer's support group facilitator in Oregon.

Illustrator James Cloutier uses people and scenes from the past to better appeal to older folks. The pages can also be colored.

Creator Lindy McClean, an Oregon massage therapist, noticed a need for challenging, age-appropriate brain teasers among some of her oldest clients. She found little on the market to satisfy them.

"The response has been so great from professional caregivers and baby boomers with elderly parents that we created Senior Smart Puzzles Book Two," McClean said. "This has been one of the most rewarding projects of my life."

We shared her two books with a LifeTimes reader in his 80s who enjoyed them very much.

The Senior Smart Puzzles books, each 48 pages, are $10.99, available through McClean's Web site, www.seniorsmartpuzzles.com, or amazon.com. Phone orders may be placed with BookSurge Publishing, toll-free 1-866-308-6235 (select option 6).

'Senior Smart Puzzles' offer age-appropriate challenges 12/22/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 11:11am]

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