Teen Creates Puzzle Book to Help Elderly With Brain Exercises

A Massachusetts high school junior published a puzzle book to help elderly people.

John Frates of Needham created and published "Grandma & Grandpa's Word Searches" with the help of Benchmark Senior Living, a memory care community. It all came out of word games he specially made for his 86-year-old grandmother with dementia, Mary, to allow her to continue to enjoy the puzzles she loves.

"Watching her succeed and actually finish the word searches and feel really good about herself, that just drove me to make the next however many word searches," Frates said.

Enlarging the font, simplifying the words and avoiding backward and diagonally hidden phrases, Frates created games his grandmother was able to enjoy despite her failing memory.

The book, containing 27 custom word searches, is sold on Amazon with all profits donated to the Alzheimer's Association. Since it started selling in September, the book has made roughly $1,200 for the cause.

Frates recently received the Young Entrepreneur Award from the Needham-Newton Regional Chamber.

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