The Best Brain-Boosting Games for Seniors

March 3, 2023

It’s game time! We all know playing games can be fun – but for our older ones, playing games can play an important part in their overall well-being. Getting involved in a game, investing oneself in the competition, or just being a part of the community are all great ways to help exercise our brains. 

Games can help beat boredom, relieve stress, and even make social gatherings a little easier and less intimidating. Playing certain types of games might be beneficial for things like mood, memory, concentration, reasoning, and creativity. With those things in mind, we’ve compiled some of the best brain-boosting games for seniors. 

Group Games 

Chess: We love that chess games can go on for days (but certainly don’t have to.) Strategery and creative thinking will help you protect your king, outwit your opponent, and get your opponent’s king into checkmate. Too hard to remember all the rules? Use the pieces for checkers! (See below.)

Checkers: Just like a chess board, here you want to capture and remove all 12 of your opponent’s game pieces before he or she can do the same to you.

Go Fish: Get nostalgic and play this card-matching game. The goal? To collect as many four-of-a-kinds as you can by asking opponents for cards or “fishing” from the undealt deck when they don’t have them.

Uno: There’s a strategy in saving those wild cards… In Uno, you want to be the first player to get rid of all your cards by matching them, one by one, to the upturned color or number cards on the top of the deck. And don’t forget to yell “uno!” when you have just one left. 

Memory: Do you remember this challenging game? With all the tiles faced down, you and your opponent take turns to flip two the tiles and (hopefully) match them up in pairs. 

Rummikub: A favorite of some of the ladies at the Residence at Penniman Hill, to win this game you must be first one to play all of your numbered tiles by placing them in consecutive sequences or groups of the same numbers or colors.

Solo Games 

These brain-teasers are great because they can be done at any time, and don’t require a team or a partner (but can certainly be done together – that’s not against the rules.) 

Wordle: On a smartphone, ipad, or computer, you have six tries to guess that day’s 5-letter word. With color prompts, you’ll know as you go if you’ve guessed letters in the word or in the right spot. (Psst: World Unlimited lets you play game after game after game…)

Solitaire: Played on a computer with a deck of cards (which is arguably more satisfying), trying to uncover and organize the whole deck of cards in suite and sequential order, is surprisingly addicting. 

Crosswords: These can be intimidating, but there is no time limit to answer the trivia and fill in the boxes, but there’s also absolutely no shame in asking around for help. We think “phoning a friend” should be encouraged. 

Word Search: Like hide-and-seek for your eyes, and you can get word-search books in large print! With many different themes, finding the particular list of words can be great for building concentration. 

No matter what games they select, if your senior is having fun and feeling engaged, they are winning!