Flexing and stretching your brain, just like flexing and stretching other parts of your body, is critical for a successful aging workout--so much so that experts suggest that people of all ages exercise both their brains and bodies on a daily basis.
Growing evidence suggests that regular mental calisthenics may help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease or other memory disorders by enhancing cognitive reserve—the mind's resistance to damage; stimulating growth of new brain cells; and maintaining or strengthening connections between brain cells.
Scientists continue to explore the benefits of mental activities, including an increasing number of computerized brain games, and not all games have published studies backing them up. But the general consensus is that brain exercise basically has no downside: it can only help those with memory problems and those who want to stay sharp in general.
For individuals currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, a rule of thumb is to engage the person in mental activities that will not be a set up for failure.