Seniors know staying physically fit is essential for successful aging, but the brain needs exercise too. Although researchers are still working on the benefits of brain games for seniors it can’t hurt to challenge that gray matter rather than letting it sit stagnantly. As more and more brain games are developed, the range of choices makes it easy to find some that are fun and stimulating. Here is a list of different types of brain games for seniors to try.
Brain Games for Seniors
#1 Word games
Ever struggle for the right word? Maybe spending a little time with word brain games for seniors might help and there are plenty from which to choose. One of the most popular is Wordle, an online game you can play on a computer or with a phone app, that offers a daily word challenge with multiple chances to deduce what it is. Other word games like those at wordfinder.yourdictionary.com, let you search for words among a grid of letters and solve cryptograms or for more options check out the aarp.com article, “Games” which includes a wide variety of the ever-popular crossword puzzle.
#2 Number games
It’s easy to lose the ability to do math, but some brain games for seniors may help. One of the best is Sudoku which requires filling a nine-by-nine square grid in a way that each row, column and three-by-three square grid contains all numbers one through nine. For a variety of games involving numbers, another great option is the cokogames.com article, “MATH Games for Adults,” with number games involving fractions, percentages, and even algebra. Also, a great source of number games for seniors to play is the Reader’s Digest article, “30 Math Puzzles (with Answers) to Test Your Smarts.”
#3 Matching games
Another category of brain games for seniors is matching games which might just help keep your memory sharper. A great place to begin is the memozor.com article, “Matching games for seniors – Online and Free (26)” with a variety of simple games for beginners, or the article, “Matching game for seniors – vintage objects – online and free,” which let you time yourself. More challenging matching games can be found at Games 4 Grandma, Crazy Games, and 1001games.com.
#4 Board games
Many seniors have a stockpile of board games stashed away for when the grandkids visit but these old favorites are also great brain games for seniors. For example, Scrabble is always a good way to test your vocabulary, Yahtzee, Chess and Checkers are great for honing strategic thinking, Dominoes is a great stress reducer, and Clue is great for critical, deductive reasoning. If you lack someone to play board games with, try playing online at internetgames365.com which offers everything from Bridge to Backgammon to Monopoly, or try the teambuilding.com article “Free Online Board Games To Play With Friends In 2023,” to have virtual game days with friends and family.
A perennial favorite of humans everywhere is the classic puzzle and they remain among the best brain games for seniors. Today puzzles are available online in a variety of formats from the good old fashioned table-top jigsaw picture puzzles, like those at jigsawexplorer.com and thejigsawpuzzles.com to some pretty challenging options at Baileypuzzles.com designed to help strengthen powers of logic and mechanical thinking. Another fun option is tiling puzzles which can be had by downloading apps from Google Play or the Apple App Store. For those who really want to find a puzzle (or 10) that keeps them on their toes, thelifevirtue.com article, “16 Types of Puzzles – Mysterious, Mind-Boggling, Fun & Romantic” breaks them down into different types and purposes.
#8 Card games
Card games are excellent brain games for seniors and can also provide opportunities to get the socialization seniors need to stay mentally fit. While games played alone like Solitaire are always engaging, playing games from the past like Hearts, Gin Rummy, Spades and Canasta can bring back memories to share and provide hours of fun when played with friends. For a rundown of great card games for seniors, read the anytimegames.com article, “Card Games for Seniors Boost Mental Stimulation and Cognitive Function.”
#7 Games for people with dementia
Older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can also benefit from playing games, not only for mental stimulation but from the social aspect as well. According to the goldencarers.com article, “20+ Games for People Living With Dementia” many games are adaptable and will provide excellent benefits for those with memory problems.
Playing is a big part of aging well and at Ganton’s Countryside we make it easy every day. For more information about Countryside, please call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.