Brain health is just as important as physical health, and playing games is a great way to keep your mind sharp. Studies show that the brain is much like the rest of the body. It needs exercise to stay in shape. Keeping the brain active and learning new things isn't just for kids. There is also a possible link to preventing Alzheimer's by keeping the brain active and learning. This is why games make great gifts for seniors!
Here are some suggestions for games seniors can play and stay sharp at the same time!
There's a reason some games are considered classics. When you're looking at games for seniors don't pass up Scrabble, Monopoly, and Clue because they all make you use cognitive skills to advance in the game. Games that rely on memory and problem solving are great as well as card games. If the senior you have in mind has vision problems look online for large-print versions that will make seeing the action a bit easier.
Related reading: Memory Notebooks: How to 'Remember to Remember'
Thinking is the name of the game here. Crossword and find-the-word puzzles make the brain cells work as do Sudoku and jigsaw puzzles. Trivia games can boost memories but look for subjects your seniors will be familiar with, like Trivial Pursuit®.
More and more seniors are enjoying the internet so don't pass up the opportunity for online games. Wii, Playstation, and similar game consoles can be a big source of entertainment and can boost their hand-to-eye coordination while their playing. There are also websites dedicated to online games. One of our favorites is Lumosity. It has over 50 cognitive games created by scientist and game designers for people of all ages.
Social Media Games
All the games on social media like Facebook are not just kids. Spend a few hours online with your senior relative and show them the ins and outs of social media so they know how to bookmark their favorite sites and join some interesting game pages.
Help your senior navigate their cell phone if they're not familiar with apps and options and discover some games together. You can also find classic games such as Yahtzee, Solitaire and Battleship in handheld version so go with the flow and buy what interests them.
Keep in mind that aging doesn't mean reducing your gaming instincts to bingo and shuffleboard, and the next time you visit come prepared for an evening of fun and games!