bingoA fun way to keep a senior’s mind sharp is to play games.

Older brains benefit from being challenged on a daily basis. Games are an engaging, social way of accomplishing this – they can be played with family and friends, encouraging social interaction as well as finding new ways of approaching problems.

Embassy Healthcare offers the following suggestions for games to keep older minds active:

  1. Bingo: Who doesn’t love Bingo? A simple game that anyone can play, seniors can bond with young family members by playing this favorite activity. A common pastime at skilled nursing facilities, large groups of seniors can enjoy the game together while working on the senses of hearing sight and touch.
  2. Word puzzles: A variety of games incorporating words can provide quite the brain workout for seniors (and everyone). Favorites include activities such as crossword puzzles and Scrabble (or Words with Friends and other games on smart devices). You can find a host of other brain workouts by searching for “word games” online or in the app store.
  3. Jigsaw puzzles: While not technically a “game,” jigsaw puzzles are excellent activities that encourage cognitive skills at a relaxed pace – you can take as long as you like to put a puzzle together. They can serve as a hub for conversation and bonding as well when you have others work with you.
  4. Video games: Want to help an older adult connect with the younger generation? Hand them a video game controller. Studies have shown that 3D platform games such as Super Mario Brothers are of particular benefit to seniors due to the need for quick responses and using memory to know which buttons to push.
  5. Card games: These versatile games can be altered to be as simple or complex as you like. They promote concentration while encouraging social skills around the table. Some favorites for all ages include Blackjack, Uno, War, Go Fish, Euchre and Gin Rummy.
  6. Memory matching game: The premise is simple: Lay cards out on a table, face down. Turn two over. If they match, put them next to you in a pile. If they don’t, turn them back down and try again on your next turn, trying to remember which cards are in what location.

Whichever one you decide to play, games are a fun way to break up the day, keep the brain working and encourage interaction with others.

If you would like more information about dementia care services available at Embassy Healthcare communities, call us at 888-975-1379 or contact us online.