Best Brain-Sharpening Games for Seniors

As we age, our bodies and our minds slow down. Aches and pains, difficulty remembering names and faces—it happens to us all, at one time or another. However, that doesn’t mean we have to accept our fate and live with it. There are many ways in which we can keep ourselves mentally fit.

Puzzles are a great way to both have fun and keep one’s brain in shape. Crossword puzzles, word searches, word jumbles—all are perfect for staying mentally sharp, and there are many more types from which to choose. Assembling puzzles also is a relaxing way to keep mentally active.newspaper-412452_960_720

Games of skill and chance are also effective at keeping mental acuity sharp. Playing card games (poker, bridge, gin, go fish, etc.) not only involve strategic thinking, they also involve social interaction which, of course, further enhances mental health. There are many more games to choose from, and the only limitation for participation is the individual.

Bingo is another great combination of a mental and social activity. Bingo requires concentration, especially when one plays with multiple cards. And, since bingo is played with many players, it’s also a great way to hang out with friends and make new ones. Another appealing aspect of bingo is the chance to win prizes. Who doesn’t enjoy winning a prize every now and then?

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Remember those board games you used to love as a kid? Dust them off, relive your childhood, and keep your mind engaged at the same time. Games like Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Chance, etc., are entertaining ways to have fun and stay sharp. Go ahead, roll the dice!

Speaking of dice, dice games are another way to give attention to mental focus while helping with dexterity and aiding in social engagement. There are a multitude of dice games to choose from, and many accompany the aforementioned board games. All you need is dice, a flat surface, a few friends, and time to have fun.

An interesting way to stay sharp is a relatively new activity called neurobics. According to Livestrong.com, neurobics are “exercises that develop and enhance the five senses. For example, try buttoning your shirt or tying your shoes with your eyes closed. Try eating with your non-dominant hand, or using the computer mouse with your left hand instead of your right. Try eating a meal with a partner or friend without talking, only utilizing visual cues and gestures to express yourself or your wishes, suggests Lawrence Katz, professor of Neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center.”

Yet another way to stay mentally engaged is to play online games. If it has ever been a game, chances are it’s available as a free game on the internet. Solitaire is a widely available popular online game that is both challenging and fun. In addition, there are trivia games, grammar games, math games, and many other educational (and fun) alternatives that will appeal to most anyone.

Keeping mentally sharp is important at any stage in life, especially in the later years. Thankfully, staying sharp is easy, thanks to the wide variety of games and puzzles available both in physical form and online. At A Hand to Hold, we know that keeping seniors mentally active enables peace of mind for both the senior and the senior’s family.

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