The brain is like a muscle. It needs activity and stimulation to work in peak condition. This is especially true for seniors who naturally experience a degree of cognitive decline, and patients with dementia who may find that an active brain helps to slow down progression of the disease.
Here are some fun game options that can exercise the brain’s memory, planning and problem-solving abilities and keep seniors active, engaged and connected to family and friends:
Word games help with word recall (an area where many seniors struggle) and can include word searches, crosswords, Mad Libs, Wordle, and Boggle.
Arts & crafts
Arts & crafts projects encourage creativity and help with dexterity. Projects can include greeting cards, scrapbooking, drawing/painting, crocheting, needlepoint, or knitting.
In addition to helping with dexterity, perseverance and problem solving, puzzles can be a great way to limit stressful stimuli, ease anxiety and relax.
An old favorite, Bingo offers fun and friendly competition that has an added socialization component that’s essential for seniors who are more isolated.
Trivia games can be played in groups or individually. Many dementia patients struggle with short-term memory, but do well recalling movies, TV or radio shows, or historical and culturally significant events.
Sudoku is a great solo activity that stimulates logical thinking and mathematical skills. Both print and online versions are available.
Board games & card games
Board and card games—from simple to complex, classic to new—are a fun way to engage seniors with kids to create meaningful connections.
Brain training apps
There are many easy-to-use apps available online with a wide variety of skill-building challenges for all proficiency levels.