Brain Games and Exercises for Seniors to Do at Home

Apr 7, 2020
senior man doing a crossword puzzle

There’s an old saying, “use it or lose it” and when it comes to keeping the mind sharp and agile, many experts agree, the more we challenge our brains, the better. According to, “It’s believed that the key to a sharper mind primarily boils down to four things: keeping your mind active by learning something new, switching up your routine, taking care of your body through a healthy diet and exercise, and if you play brain games, selecting those that are clinically proven to work.” But where are those brain games and exercises that show promise? Here’s a list of some of the most tried and true. is a cognitive training website by Posit Science that provides scientifically developed brain exercises “proven to change cognitive function in dozens of peer-reviewed scientific papers.” Users can choose from a variety of exercises for “attention, brain speed, memory, people skills, navigation, and intelligence” or they can design a program to meet specific needs or desires. Anyone can try BrainHQ for free or through a monthly or yearly subscription. The app is available for Apple and Android devices. is also based on scientific research, including one randomized trial involving 4,715 participants that showed more than twice the cognitive improvement in the test group over the control group. Brain game topics include speed, memory, attention, flexibility, problem solving, word, and math and it’s easy to browse and choose the games that best suit each individual. Sign up is free for up to three games per day or subscriptions are available. The app is available for Apple and Android devices.

Peak is an app developed in conjunction with experts at New York University, Cambridge University and University College London. Designed to challenge memory, attention and problem solving, Peak brain games can be accessed on a phone or tablet anytime and anywhere on both Apple or Android devices and include a “coach” to define and track goals.

Elevate is a cognitive training app, that is based on a study that showed, “Elevate users improved 69% more than non-users, and the more they played Elevate, the better their results.” The app offers unlimited access to more than 35 games for math, speaking, reading, and writing. Users can customize daily training and measure performance as well. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices. is a subscription brain training app for Android and Apple devices that helps assess areas of cognitive decline and ways to improve them. Assessments are general as well as specific (including for ADHD, depression, Parkinson’s, and more) and training programs offered can be chosen based on age, skill or condition. Results of using CogniFit have been presented in neuroscience studies at universities around the world including in the United States, Australia, Norway, and Israel, and one by the U.S. Navy. offers apps that are being used by researchers in a variety of ways to help build cognitive health across different demographics. Users can quickly access six free games (no sign-up required) or they can register for a free account. The free BrainTurk Lite app includes games for attention, memory, focus, math, word, and mindful meditation, while the very inexpensive BrainTurk Peak Training app offers more than 40 similar games. Both are available for Android and Apple devices while three other apps are available for Apple only.

Memorado is based in Germany and launched the Global Cognition Initiative which helps connect scientists and other neuroscience experts around the world in “an open-source, collaborative research initiative” on cognition. Memorado is personalized according to training goals, assessment testing and a training schedule. The 20+ games cover speed, concentration, memory, reaction, and logic, and can be played on a computer by signing up for free. An app is also available free for Apple and Android devices.

For those who just want to play games for fun and aren’t concerned with how much research is behind them, there are many to choose from. Try these links for a wide variety from different resources:

Right now, more than ever, keeping a clear mind will help each of us get through the pandemic safely. By making a daily commitment to challenging our brains to try harder, we can improve our lives, even as we wait to get back to normal. Have fun, stay home, stay safe!


For information about Countryside, call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.

memory care

Subscribe to our blog.

Recent Posts

5 Things to Look for in an Independent Living Community

An independent living community can be the perfect retirement solution when you choose the right senior living community. That’s why it is so important to thoroughly vet your options before making your choice. One of the best ways to do that is by touring independent...

Four Wonderful Things to Expect in an Independent Living Community

Retirement is the time of life to really make every day one to remember, whether it’s traveling, revisiting an old hobby, relaxing at home with friends and family, writing a book, or taking classes just to learn something new. All those things you never had time for...

What Is Independent Living?

Retirement brings with it many decisions, not the least of which is where to live. For many older adults, independent living is the perfect choice because it has all the benefits of a home without all the costs and hassles of home ownership. But others may not...

Do You Have Caregiver Burnout? 6 Ways Assisted Living Helps

Being a caregiver can be a fulfilling way to honor an aging parent or loved one, but it can also become an overwhelming job as time goes on. The daily tasks, worries, and responsibilities of caregiving can ultimately result in caregiver burnout, a real and very...

Michigan Senior Living: The Complete Guide for 2022

Ready to find your forever home in Michigan? You’re in luck! Few states come close to the natural beauty, affordability and high quality of life found in Pure Michigan. No matter what type of retirement community you’re looking for, you can find it here — if you know...

What the Best Michigan Memory Care Residences Have to Offer

For seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, memory loss can be jarring, lonely and even anger-inducing. They may be unable to remember basic facts, like what year it is, their location or a loved one’s name, all of which can contribute to feelings of a lost identity....

Top Qualities of the Best Retirement Communities in Michigan

Entering your golden years can be an exhilarating adventure, or it can be a stressful, uncertain transition. For most people, the difference comes down to whether or not they feel secure and supported in their new phase of life. Finding a retirement community that...

Assisted Living in Michigan: Everything You Need to Know

What happens when seniors can no longer live comfortably at home? Some people think that being unable to live alone means that a senior should enter nursing care, but that’s not necessarily true. The reality is that there are several living options in between total...

Share This