Playing Easy Brain Games for Seniors are some of the best things we can do to keep sharp upstairs. Take a look at some of the benefits that playing Brain Games for Seniors can bring:
Who knew that playing our favorites like backgammon, Checkers, Bridge, Mahjong, Scrabble, Dominos, Poker, even Video Games, and the rest….. could be doing us so darn much good?
“Use it or lose it.” How many times have all of us heard this before? Right?
But, we usually hear it when talking about physical strength and muscular ability. Don’t we?
Did you know our brains and thinking powers are much like our muscles and physical strength when it come to use also?
Yes, that’s right. We use them, or, we lose them.
We all know that if we just sit around all day and do as little as we can physically, we get weaker and weaker as time passes.
Well, the exact same thing happens to our thinking powers as we get older. If we stop using them. And, it’s far too easy for retirees to get lazy and in the bad habit of neglecting both our physical and mental needs for exercise.
We certainly don’t need another “job” each day to keep our senior brains in good shape.
But, we can enjoy playing brain games and get the mental exercise we need.
Yes! Just by playing games we enjoy.
“Research proves that brain-stimulating activities and habits can help stave off Alzheimer’s. Not surprisingly, the brain can benefit from a good workout just as the body does.” reference: “How to Exercise Your Brain”
Don’t we need difficult games to improve?
NO. And, that’s the absolute best news here.
Many seniors presume that “Brain Exercises” have to be difficult to work effectively.
Nothing is further from the truth.
Easy brain games for seniors,
with a comfortable fun challenge,
are equally as effective as any other Brain Games or Exercises.
The fact of the matter is, just like physical exercise, you don’t have to be an elite Olympic Athlete to keep your body in excellent muscular shape and ability.
Simply walking a half mile each day, like my old friend Les (who passed last year at age 94), is 1000% better than doing nothing. The benefits of even simple exercise like this can be surprisingly large.
Just like physical exercise that is too hard or strenuous will make us feel achey and awful physically, overly difficult brain games just upset us, are unpleasant, and frustrating. They not only are no real help, they ruin our mood and feeling of well being as well.
On the other hand, easy games, even “Go Fish”, can keep us thinking and be a good time in the process. Playing easy games can improve our mental agility and quicken our decision making. Did you realize that? Most of us never did.
AND: When we are doing things we like, we we want to keep doing these things. Right?
So, if you start getting bored with the game you picked, pick another game with a bit more challenge. Or, even just pick another because you are in the mood for a different game. Either way, you keep your thinking fresh. You keep having fun.
Change games as often (or as infrequently) as you feel like it. Every day is not too often.
For the sake of this article, EASY means: “Games we have fun playing without too much difficulty”.
Easy doesn’t mean there is no challenge and that you feel like a 2 year old. No. Those games bore us and are as useless as games that are too difficult.
Easy simply means:
That’s what “Easy Brain Games for Seniors” means. And, those are the ones that do us the most good.
With what you just read, it becomes easy to pick the best easy brain games that will give you the most pleasure and give you the best results.
If you are picking games for an elderly senior who has very little mental ability left, a simple 12 or even 6 piece jigsaw puzzle may be just the right amount of challenge for them. Putting these simple puzzles together can give them an enormous feeling of accomplishment and great Joy.
If you are a true genius, aced your High School SATs with 800 scores on both, write advanced computer programs for major corporations, are a concert pianist….. High end competitive chess games may be easy for you and right up your alley.
For those of us in the middle…. well, I love Backgammon. My wife and her Mom love Mahjong. My sister loves Monopoly best. My best friend can’t get enough of Scrabble.
And, all of these different games can be just the right ones. Depending on our abilities and interests as seniors.
The studies are showing that
it’s not the game or complexity of the games that matters most.
It is the elements of fun and interest in playing
that deliver the most benefits.
This means: You don’t have to sign up for fancy “scientifically” designed brain games to receive all the benefits us seniors are looking for.
Yes, there are many good “high tech” scientifically developed Brain Games for seniors out there. And, many of them give excellent results.
But, there are also many nutritious protein powder food supplements out there that give you great quality protein. And they can taste terrible. Not nearly anywhere near as yummy as eggs scrambled in butter! A hamburger. Or some cheese.
And, even if you buy the great protein powder, you might not eat it more than 2 or 3 times before you stop using it. Why? Because it tastes terrible and is no fun to eat.
The same is true with brain games. A lot of the fancy “scientifically developed” games are not always that much fun to play.
They work real great if you use them. But, who wants another “job”?
For this reason, many people will just quit playing the high tech games after 3 or 4 weeks because it’s more like going to work everyday than playing a game and having fun.
On the other hand, when we are playing games we love like Monopoly, Scrabble, Concentration, Gin Rummy, Solitaire, Poker, Mahjong, even Dominos or Go Fish (who remembers that one??), etc, etc…. we are having fun. We are interested in playing the game. And, those are the things that make the games work for us.
We all look forward to playing games that we enjoy. And, as you just read above: “It is the elements of fun and interest in playing that delivers the most benefit.”
Remember: When we are exercising our bodies: We’re not trying out for the Olympic Team. We’re just taking care of our physicality. Enjoying our bodies movements. Our ease of motion. Our strength and vitality. And, in the process, we’re gaining strength and making our daily tasks easier.
We walk now. We go dancing. Some of us still enjoy running. We swim. We do water aerobics. Some play tennis. Or, badminton. Some play golf, etc, etc,……
These are all great for us. And, we can do them all at our own pace and increase the challenge at any time we want. Right?
The same feeling applies to the Brain Games for Seniors that we choose.
We’re not trying for a world championship in Chess any more than we are trying to make the Olympic Team if we are swimmers.
If we play Chess, we want to play at our own level, with a comfortable challenge, and especially for the enjoyment of each game. As we progress, we enjoy playing with newer and more proficient opponents.
That is strengthening our brains just as much as walking, swimming, golfing and badminton, etc…. are strengthening for our bodies.
All the other easy brain games for seniors have the exact same benefits for us as Chess. Which brain games we choose as seniors, and elderly seniors, however, all depends on our own individual abilities.
But, the benefits remain the same at all levels.
See how easy this can be? And, how much fun?
We don’t need to engage in games, no matter how scientific, that we don’t enjoy. And, the fact is, science is showing that games we don’t enjoy won’t give us nearly as much benefit as games we enjoy and look forward to playing.
It really doesn’t matter what the game is. All that matters is that you enjoy playing it and that you play games regularly.
If you enjoy the high tech complex new games, excellent. Great. Have a ball. There are some very good ones. Pretty much all levels of “normal ability” can play them successfully.
Brain Fitness (free in the iTunes store)
Clevermind (for those with severe mental inabilities)
Fit Brains Trainer
But, if, like us, you just enjoy playing a card game, building a jigsaw puzzles, playing a board game like backgammon, or playing a musical instrument, you’re still getting excellent brain exercise, and, you’re going to get all the benefits that brain games can give. And, on top of that, you’re going to have fun.
Remember: Fun is important.
Never underestimate the enlivening and vitalizing power of having fun.
“Cognitive decline doesn’t have to be part of old age. Doing brain games for seniors (many of which are free or very affordable) staves off the loss of memory and boosts your mental acuity. And the earlier you start, the sooner the benefit.” reference: lifeline.ca
No matter how young, old, or even elderly you may be, or, how long it’s been since you’ve played, it’s never too late to start playing Easy Brain Games for Seniors.
And, did you know that just 15 minutes each day, 5 days a week, can do the trick?
So let’s take a look at the 10 Favorite Easy Brain Games for Seniors that our 121 surveyed seniors told us they liked best:
In a recent survey, where we asked 242 seniors about “Memory Games for Seniors”, we included this question:
“What is you favorite EASY brain game for seniors?”
Here are the results in order, from most popular:
One of the real beauties of Concentration is that you can adjust the difficulty of the game at all times.
Concentration is played with a normal deck of 52 playing cards.
However, you can make the game much easier for the very elderly by using only 6 cards (3 matching pairs). Or, make it much more difficult by adding a second deck and requiring a 3 card or even a 4 card match.
If you’ve never played Concentration, here’s a short VIDEO that will get you started.
There are also a Free Online Concentration Matching Games at Memozor. Here's one called: "Leaves of Tress"
Jigsaw puzzles are an all time favorite and ranked #2 in our survey.
But, did you know Jigsaw Puzzles can be a perfect game for elderly seniors, with limited thinking ability, when you decrease the number of pieces in a puzzle? You can find puzzles like this for free online, where you choose the number of pieces you want. All the way down to 6 or 12 pieces.
You can choose from beautiful pictures and what size puzzle (how many pieces in the puzzle) you want to play for free here: “Online Jigsaw Puzzles”
If you're new to Jigsaw Puzzles and you emptied a box with lots of pieces on your table and felt completely overwhelmed.... or, if you'd just like some techniques for quicker building, here's a terrific VIDEO by Karen Puzzles. Karen is the Queen of the Jigsaw Puzzle world. She is loads of help with all kinds of ideas and techniques that make puzzle building much more fun and easier.
We all know Checkers. Can you remember your first game? How old you were? Your first opponent?
Mine was my Grandfather. We always played during family visits at his home in New York City. I was 8 when we began to play. I didn’t realize he often let me win. It was very exciting. Then, after the game we’d go for ice cream.
A great casual game anytime, and, it’s advanced enough for those with somewhat limited abilities.
If it's been a while since you played and want a little refresher, here's an excellent short VIDEO with complete instructions:
Another game we all played at one time or another. Right? Especially before the advent of computer everything.
To play Solitaire all we need is a regular deck of playing cards. We can carry these in our pockets anywhere. Use them in the house, at the park, on a picnic table….
One of the beauties of Solitaire is that we can play this game with cards. Actual physical objects. Not just an electronic screen. When I’m on the computer, I find I often miss the old fashioned real life games like this one. Don’t you?
And, don’t you find that playing games in the physical Universe (not just online), where we actually touch objects and move them around, is so satisfying?
Yes, Solitaire is also available for free online. But, when I can, I love the real game. With cards!
Here's a VIDEO that will refresh playing the game for you:
We usually think of 21, or Blackjack, as a betting game. A casino game. And, it is. Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world.
But, did you realize, 21 is a great casual excellent easy brain game for seniors also?
21 helps develop:
All skills that help with our normal daily activities.
And, with Blackjack, you can determine the length of play very easily. You can play 5 rounds, over 500 rounds, or any number in between.
Here's a short VIDEO that will teach you the game and all you need to know to play it. You don't have to play for money. Just chips or even pieces of candy can be your coins.
Old Maid is another of the wonderful old games that most of our generation played as kids. Did you play it too?
Old Maid can be played with 2 or more players. This makes Old Maid a great easy brain game for seniors when the family gathers together.
There are a large number of games available with special playing cards. But, you can use a regular deck of 52 playing cards also.
If you didn’t, or, if you did and need a little refreshment on this game, here’s a short instructional VIDEO for you:
If you don’t feel like playing with words, or rolling dice, if a bit of skill and luck in the physical world appeals to you, but you don’t want to do anything too physical, there’s Jenga!
At get togethers, everyone seems to enjoy this one.
Jenga is another of the easy brain games for seniors that is great at family get togethers because it’s fun if you’re 8 or 90 or anywhere in between. Everyone can play this physical game together and there is no advantage to age or strength. This also makes Jenga a physical game that even our elderly can share with us.
Jenga is a table top game. You stack up all the pieces into a tower. Then each player, in turn, removes a single rectangular block from the stack and places it on top of the stack.
The game ends when a player removes a block and the tower falls.
The last player to remove and replace a block without the tower falling WINS!
Here’s a VIDEO where you can see how Jenga is played:
Bingo is a game that almost all older seniors know about already. And, Bingo is the most popular easy brain games for seniors that gives even the elderly and mobility challenged a chance for some regular casual interaction with lots of other seniors. A fun social night out.
Our friend and neighbor Aaron (He’s 82) never misses the weekly Bingo game at the local Kiwanis.
We’ve tagged along a couple of times and had a ball with a lot of the locals.
If you have a BINGO night nearby in your neighborhood, give it a try. It’s a fun relaxing night. And, a great way to get out and socialize with friends and neighbors without having to go to a lot of fuss.
And, if your Mom or Pop is rather home bound, taking them to a regular Bingo night each week may just turn out to be the highlight of their week!
If you need to refresh yourself on how Bingo is played, here's a very short VIDEO with the instructions:
And, here's another five minute VIDEO with everything you need to go to start playing:
Many of us seniors already have a games console. Most of us got it so the grandchildren had something they like to do when they visit. Right?
If you don’t have one, don’t let the prices scare you. You can usually get a refurbished or perfectly good pre-owned one for a fraction for the price.
If you’re not familiar with console video games, we’re going to turn you on to Super Mario Brothers. This is a a Nintendo Game. So, you need the Nintendo hook up.
With Mario Brothers you’ll be traveling through beautiful colorful worlds to rescue the Princess Peach.
We love recommending this game because, if you get stuck anywhere, you can watch a computer generated character complete the game for you before you try again. You learn a lot this way. And, it makes your skills constantly improve. Even if you are a very beginner, there’s no frustration.
Some extra nice news: Besides being FUN, the research shows that playing Mario or Super Mario can delay the onset of diminished mental ability. Nice! Right?
If you're not playing Video Games yet, here's a VIDEO that will show you how easy it is to get started:
Painting is one of the most popular hobbies that retired seniors begin and seem to enjoy a lot.
Because they always wanted to just sit by the beach (or anywhere they love), enjoy the day, and paint a picture.
You don’t even have to be good at it. It’s just the pleasure, the freedom, the silence and the sound of the wind that takes us so peacefully inward.
Is painting actually a brain game?
No. But, 4 of our seniors in the survey wrote in “painting pictures” as their favorite easy brain game. So, we are including it here.
Painting can be a form of blissful meditation that actually improves the function of our brains.
If you ever thought “someday when I retire I want to paint”, please… try it! It is just plain bliss!
I am a terrible, awful, really bad painter. But, sometime I really enjoy taking out my little water color kit and giving it a go.
And, for elderly seniors who may be significantly more challenged, coloring, with crayons or markers in wonderful coloring books, can give the same wonderful benefits and joyous sense of satisfaction.
These benefits include:
Remember: You're never too old to start painting.
Here's an inspirational VIDEO with some elderly seniors enjoying painting who have never painted before:
We hope you have found something you want to try, or, reconnect with in our Top 10 Easy Brain Games for Seniors.
Or, maybe we have been able to encourage you to get back to playing games yourself. They’re fun. And, they do us a lot of good.
The main point in picking EASY Brain Games for Seniors is this:
It doesn’t matter what games you choose.
What does matter are these 3 things:
The whole importance of Easy Brain Games for Seniors is to keep our brains exercised so that they stay sharp and strong our whole life. And, of course, to have fun playing them.
Enjoy! ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte