Brain training games are fun for people of all ages, but they are especially beneficial in improving the cognitive skills and mental capacity of aging adults.
Aside from keeping the mind alert and active, brain games can also help fight the symptoms of depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Including brain training games in the home care plan for dementia patients can ultimately contribute to a better sense of well-being and increased quality of life.
Here are our picks of brain training games that you or your senior loved ones will surely find entertaining.
Playing word games isn’t just a fun way to spend your free time, it also has plenty of benefits for seniors. Yes, most of the common word games you grew up playing can actually help improve memory retention and cognitive skills.
Games like scrabble and word search push you to work on your word retrieval, which can become more difficult as you get older. Crossword puzzles, on the other hand, can help you learn new words and recall vocabulary terms you might have already forgotten. Also, doing crosswords can be quite therapeutic — it’s the perfect activity if you just want to just relax and spend some quiet time alone after a long day.
If there’s one brain training activity that will give you the most bang for your buck, it has to card. Just imagine the number of different games that you can play with a single deck – from simpler games like memory, hearts, and solitaire to old favorites like Pinochle, Cribbage, and Rummy.
Card games are scientifically proven to boost memory and brainpower. And while you can choose to play them alone, it’s more fun when there are other people playing with you. Your brain cells can benefit from social interaction, too!
Playing trivia games is an excellent way to stimulate the mind, and they’re loads of fun! You can easily find a treasure trove of trivia game questions on the Internet for whatever topic that suits your fancy or depending on who’s participating.
Trivia games are the best choice for game night or whenever you’re with a group of people. They’re even more exciting when you keep a tab of the scores and play for a prize because the game becomes more challenging. Besides, having some healthy competition every now and then is also good for the brain.
Who doesn’t love board games, right? Aside from being fun, they can also help your mind stay sharp and active. A game of chess, for example, would really encourage you to think, anticipate moves, and plan ahead.
There are plenty of board games that seniors can choose from, depending on their skill and interests. If you’re not into chess, you can try Chinese Checkers, Hive, or Monopoly. Board games come in various types, but overall, they’re a great way to engage the mind and keep boredom at bay.
Social isolation is a widespread problem among seniors who live alone, and in several instances, this may even lead to depression. It’s important for seniors to remain engaged with their peers, and hosting/joining bingo games is a brilliant way to achieve this end.
Bingo is an easy and delightful activity that you can play with either a few or a lot of people. Playing this game will not only stimulate your brain cells but your other senses, as well. You have to stay alert and keep your eyes and ears open to get a shot at winning.
Digital Games for Brain Training
Of course, this list would not be complete without mentioning the various digital brain games that seniors can enjoy at their convenience. What’s great about mobile games is that they’re both engaging and challenging at the same time, so you’ll want to play them more often.
Some of the most recommended brain training apps include:
Do you think you’re not tech-savvy enough? No worries. You don’t have to be. Most digital brain games are easy to play and access. You simply open the app on your phone and give them a go whenever you feel like it. And since these digital brain training games are specially designed for the purpose of improving brain function, you can track, record, and account for your progress over time.
Sarah Keller is the Content Marketing Strategist of A To Z Home Care, a team of professional home care providers based in Phoenix, Arizona that specializes in long-term care for your loved ones. She enjoys riding horses and camping with her friends and family in her spare time.