Like a muscle, the brain gets stronger with regular use. Especially as we age, frequent cognitive exercise can help maintain intellectual acuity and can keep dementia and even depression at bay. Most adults have spent careers making decisions and solving problems. But mental demands can dwindle over the years, and we have to seek out the best brain games for seniors to stay mentally and intellectually sharp. The good news is, these games are all fun activities that you and your loved one can look forward to.
This article will recommend 5 of the best brain games for seniors, to help you or your loved one exercise that all-important “muscle.” Our list includes simple (and probably familiar) options. Use them as a starting point, then branch out into other brain-stimulating games.
Remember the game Concentration? Flip over two cards at a time, trying to find a match. This is a fun memory game to play with grandkids or great-grandkids. If a full deck of cards is overwhelming, reduce it to a more comfortable number of cards. Make it even more enjoyable by using a specialized deck — here are versions that feature images of birds and flowers.
Gin. Bridge. Poker. Go Fish. There are brainy demands in organizing patterns of numbers and suits. Plus, players evaluate their own hand while out-thinking opponents. It all requires critical thinking and memory and gets the synapses firing. Additionally, the social aspect of a card game — or any game — spurs conversation and camaraderie, two benefits for the brain and inner well-being.
Online Brain Training Games
We recommend Luminosity. This online app includes several brain games for seniors that the developers say will “improve memory, increase focus, and feel sharper,” and they provide evidence to support their claims. One of the advantages of Luminosity games is that they’re easy to learn and play, which makes daily brain exercise more fun.
The fact is, for practically any brain game you enjoy playing alone or with friends, there’s an online version: chess and checkers, mahjong, poker, solitaire, and countless arcade-type games. Simply do an internet search of a favorite game and you’re sure to find a free or subscription-based online option.
One of life’s pleasures is sitting down to a game with a friend or family. Chess can be one of the most cognitively focused brain games, as players immerse themselves in changing strategies. Or just play for fun. If you have young grandchildren, teach them the rules. It’s fun to watch their cognitive wheels turn too!
Monopoly is another great board game. This classic involves play-money management and turn-by-turn decision-making. Monopoly can take a long time from start to finish, which is great. Rather than playing the complete game in one sitting, keep a game going for days as players reconvene to pick up where they left off.
Trivial Pursuit. This popular board game compels players to dip into their memory banks to answer trivia questions in a variety of categories. Trivial Pursuit has released several editions since the original game. Some versions appeal specifically to older adults, focusing on the events of past decades.
Problem Solving and Puzzles
Puzzles come in infinite forms, and they’re all good for senior brain exercise. We all know the satisfaction of fitting the final piece into a jigsaw puzzle, or conquering a thorny crossword or sudoku grid. The journey to the winning moment is brimming with concentration, evaluation and critical thinking — all of which provide small moments of success and delight along the way.
As mentioned above, this is a short list of brain games for seniors. Whatever you find enjoyable, pick up the game you like or find it online. Virtually any intellectual stimulation is beneficial for brain health, mood and overall well-being. Playing games simply feels good. To learn more about cognitive health and the age-related benefits of playing brain games, call The Buckingham in Houston, TX at 713-979-3090, or visit our contact page today.