Large Piece Jigsaw Puzzles for Seniors to Keep Your Mind Active

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
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Large piece jigsaw puzzles are helpful for seniors with dementia, arthritis, or poor hand dexterity who want to continue experiencing the multiple benefits of working puzzles.

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Large piece jigsaw puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active. They are fun and stimulating and can help with memory and cognitive functions.

But sometimes the complications of aging can make working on a jigsaw difficult or even painful. That’s why puzzles with larger pieces can be helpful.

Keep reading to learn why large piece puzzles are important for older adults.

What Are Large Piece Jigsaw Puzzles?

Large piece jigsaw puzzles are a type of puzzle that is made up of large pieces that must be assembled into a complete picture. 

Many people think this automatically means they are easier to work but that isn’t the only case. The pattern or picture on the puzzle can also affect the difficulty of the puzzle. Generally, puzzles with large pieces will have fewer pieces per puzzle.

Why Are Large Piece Jigsaw Puzzles Necessary?

In general, jigsaw puzzles are needed because they provide a fun and stimulating way for people to keep their minds active. They are also beneficial for memory and cognitive functions. Additionally, solving puzzles can provide an outlet for creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Jigsaw puzzles with large pieces are needed for seniors who may have trouble grasping and picking up small items due to arthritis, as well as those who may have difficulty with fine motor skills. They can also be used with people who have dementia when combined with a simple to work design.

Because they have fewer pieces per puzzle, they are more likely to be finished in one sitting. This leads to a sense of completion and accomplishment which is important for the self-esteem of older adults.

Are They Still Challenging?

Large piece jigsaw puzzles are still a great way to keep your mind active and challenged despite the fact that they may be simpler to work. Even with larger pieces, they provide a fun way to spend time and work on your problem-solving skills. And, older adults who have difficulty working classic jigsaw puzzles still have the opportunity to be challenged despite a more simplified design.

What Are The Benefits of Doing Jigsaw Puzzles?

There are many benefits to doing jigsaw puzzles, both for seniors and for anyone else who enjoys a mental challenge.  

Provides Relaxation

They are a great way to relax and de-stress. Puzzles help you relax by taking your mind off of things and focusing on the task at hand. This can be especially helpful when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

Improves Spatial Reasoning Skills

They are a great way to improve your spatial reasoning skills. By working on puzzles, you will learn how to use your brain to figure out how the pieces fit together and how the picture looks when completed. This type of thinking is important for problem solving and for many other tasks throughout life.

Improves Your Problem Solving Skills.

Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to practice your problem-solving skills because there is usually a specific order in which the pieces need to be put together. This type of challenge is perfect for honing your skills and preparing you for more difficult tasks in life.

Improves Your Hand-eye Coordination Skills.

Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to improve your hand-eye coordination skills because they require you to move the pieces around quickly and accurately. By working on puzzles, you will learn how to use your hands and eyes together in order to complete a task successfully. This type of skill is important for many activities throughout life, including cooking, painting, and working with tools.

Alleviates Boredom

Puzzles relieve boredom because they are a type of activity that is unpredictable. This makes them fun to work on, and you never know what will happen next. This unpredictability also helps to keep your attention focused on the puzzle, which can help to prevent boredom from setting in. 

Are There Any Drawbacks to Jigsaw Puzzles?

There are a few potential drawbacks to jigsaw puzzles, though they are generally not too difficult to overcome. One potential issue is that they can be quite tedious and time-consuming to complete. Additionally, they can be difficult for some people to transport and store. However, these issues are generally manageable and do not typically prevent people from enjoying the puzzles themselves.

How Do They Help with Memory and Cognitive Functions?

A study in Front Aging Neuroscience showed that jigsaw puzzles improve cognitive function by improving memory skills, increasing spatial ability, and improving problem-solving abilities. Jigsaw puzzles are also a great way to keep your mind active and engaged, which can help to prevent age-related cognitive decline. Solving puzzles creates new connections in the brain and increased synaptic activity.

Where Can You Buy Large Piece Jigsaw Puzzles?

Sometimes, large piece jigsaw puzzles can be found at many stores, such as Walmart, Target, and such but the selection is generally limited. Some of my favorite sources for puzzles that have large pieces are:

  • The Alzheimer’s Store – As the name implies, this online store specializes in products for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. They have a wide selection of individual large piece puzzles (35 to 275 pieces) and multiple puzzle packs to choose from. Click here to see them.
  • Relish Life – This is another dementia specialty online store that ships to the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. They have a large selection of puzzles for seniors ranging from 13 to 100 pieces. See them here.
  • Shutterfly – At Shutterfly, you can upload your own photos and have it made into a puzzle with 50 large pieces. You can use single photos or use multiple photos and make a collage. See all 30 design choices here.
  • Amazon has a large selection of large-piece puzzles. Some are designed specifically for seniors while others are more general puzzles.
  • Walmart also offers a large choice of puzzles with large pieces online vs the smaller selection in the store.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a good size puzzle for seniors?

This depends a bit on the individual’s needs and preferences. However, here are some general guidelines that can help. Puzzles that are at least 18 inches by 24 inches are generally considered to be large enough for seniors. Although, some people prefer puzzles that are a bit smaller, around 16 inches by 20 inches. Others like puzzles that are much larger, up to 36 inches by 48 inches or even more.

Ultimately, what is important is that the puzzle is large enough to provide a challenge but not so large as to be overwhelming or impossible to complete.

How many pieces do large piece puzzles have?

Large piece puzzles typically have around 100 pieces. This means that it will take a while to complete, but the satisfaction of finally completing it is well worth it! For people with dementia, there are many puzzles that have as few as 30 pieces. If you have the space, there are large piece puzzles that go up to 275 pieces.

What puzzles have the largest pieces?

Jigsaw puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, but the largest pieces tend to be those found in large-scale puzzles. These puzzles typically have pieces that are at least 1.5 inches wide by 2 inches long, which can make them a bit more difficult to put together than smaller puzzles.

Are jigsaw puzzles good for the elderly?

A lot of people believe that jigsaw puzzles are a good way to keep the elderly active and mentally stimulated. They can help with cognitive function, problem-solving skills, spatial awareness and more. Additionally, jigsaw puzzles can provide some much-needed social interaction for those who may not have it anymore.

Jigsaw puzzles can be a source of comfort for seniors who may feel isolated or alone. Puzzles are often associated with happiness, relaxation, and satisfaction, which can help seniors feel connected to the world around them and provide some much-needed comfort in times of distress or loneliness.

Can dementia patients do jigsaw puzzles?

Yes, dementia patients can work jigsaw puzzles. The key is to select a puzzle based on their cognitive level and physical abilities. Jigsaw puzzles that are too difficult can frustrate patients, while puzzles that are too easy may not challenge them sufficiently. Patients should also be given feedback on their progress so they know how they are doing.

Wrapping Up

Large piece jigsaw puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active. They are fun and stimulating and can help with memory and cognitive functions.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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