With retirement comes increased free time, which can leave seniors feeling uncertain as to how to fill their days. Younger adults have constant mental stimulation at work and with children, but seniors in retirement communities have to intentionally seek out activities to keep their minds sharp. Below are the top benefits of brain games for seniors, as well as entertaining games which can also improve memory.
Benefits of Brain Games for Seniors
- Prevent or fight dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Faster responses to an emergency
- Improved social skills
- Avoid loneliness and boredom
- Increased hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
Memory games for seniors like chess and puzzles can help fight the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Individual or group games where players are required to remember words or previous actions (like finding a certain color puzzle piece) sharpen memory and overall brain health.
Because brain games can be played alone or together, seniors can feel content spending time alone as well as motivated to socialize during in groups. Group games are an excellent way to avoid loneliness when children move out and life seems slower. Seniors who feel isolated are more likely to suffer from depression, so participating in brain exercises with other people can prevent more than just boredom.
Certain games like Speed Scrabble and Brain Yoga can improve hand-eye coordination, which can help you to respond faster in an emergency. With age, our motor skills slow down, so it’s increasingly important for seniors to be alert while driving, walking near traffic or exercising. Because falls are the most common type of serious injury for seniors, it’s crucial to invest in your hand-eye coordination to avoid tripping or running into anything.
4 Fun Brain Games for Seniors
Since Scrabble is a group game, it encourages social interaction and allows seniors to connect in a natural way with their children, grandchildren, or friends. Traditional Scrabble is a slower game that can be calming for seniors and encourage them to think more strategically. Speed Scrabble is very fast-paced and improves hand-eye coordination as seniors are forced to create and rearrange letter pieces quickly.
Chess is a two-person game so it also promotes interaction and prevents isolation. Chess is a slower-paced game and requires concentration and strategy, both of which promote brain health. The competitiveness of the game makes it fun while the different strategies to win can encourage innovative tactics.
3) Crossword Puzzles & Sudoku
Similar to Scrabble, crossword puzzles are word games that require people to identify a word based on a short description that fits within a certain character count. This process stimulates memory and creativity as participants recall various words. Sudokus involve arranging numbers in patterns that boosts simple deduction skills as well as problem-solving.
Solitaire is a one-player game allowing seniors to feel more independent. The card game solitaire is simple and predictable but it also engages seniors with rhythmic challenges. It’s also a flexible and free brain game because seniors can play it from their phones at home, traveling, or waiting in the doctor’s office when they download a solitaire app.
The internet also provides many free brain games for seniors that can be accessed from a computer or phone. Other activities that can boost brain health include painting, gardening and exercise.