Easy Games for old people are one of the best things we can provide for our aging family members who may not be quite as fast as they once were.
Games bring us together. We have fun. We stay connected. And, easy games for old people make it possible for out most elder seniors to be involved.
Just because we grow old, and our abilities decrease, does not mean we still do not enjoy having fun playing games. Especially with those older people we love.
So, here we want to present 12 easy games for old people, and any older people who my be having some even major decline upstairs, to play with us and enjoy life together.
I had a conversation with a very elderly man the other day who had become my friend in the park. His name is Mel. He is 93. His son had gone off to fetch some lunch for them and we began to talk.
Mel is a charming fellow. Well groomed. Bright eyes. Cheerful. But, quite a bit slower than he used to be. And still, a wonderful fellow to chat with.
We were having a most lovely conversation about the beauty of this particular day at the end of March. Warm for March, 52 degrees, sunny, blue sky.
I told Mel I was researching an article for this website and asked him if I could ask him a question and record his answer. He said, “Sure. Anything.” So I asked him: “What do you miss most about being younger.”
Here’s what he told me:
“We may be on the decline. Heck, I’m 93 and have outlived most everyone of my friends.
What I hate most is being patronized. I’m not an idiot. I know I’m not as quick as I used to be, but damn it I’m still here and each day means a heck of a lot to me. Don’t ask me stupid baby questions. I want to enjoy each day and have some fun each day. So, please talk to me like a normal human being. Is that too much to ask?
I may not be as quick as I once was. I may only have the thinking ability of a 14 year old, or so my son says…. BUT: I still love life. I still love each day I wake up. I love having a simple chat like this one. With anyone who’s willing.
I love being with my family. Any of them. Even the annoying ones.
And, most of all I love doing something with someone. Anything. With almost anyone. I’ll go anywhere and do anything with anyone right now because, darn it, it’s fun!
You know what’s the most fun when you’re an old person? Do you? It’s playing a game with someone. Having a real opponent to play against. A real person. Having some fun playing with someone who likes being with you. Even if you’re an old guy like me.
Do you want to play a game together? Cards? A board game? A word game. You tell me and I’ll play.
Chess? Ha! I suck. let’s play something else.
Do you know any simpler games we might both enjoy?
Oh. Here comes my son. He’s, forgive me for saying it, one of the most tight ass people in the world. But, a good fellow. Takes me out here every week. He’s just boring as a stone.
I have more fun in the home. At least there are a few of us with a few marbles left who can do things together. Checkers, monopoly, word games, and,…. (Mel winks at me) well, mostly we tell stories to each other and try to figure out ways to escape. I think we found a couple good ones. But, where would we go? That’s the problem. That’s the mystery. When we were young we could go anywhere we wanted whenever we wanted… That’s what I miss the most. The freedom to move about freely.
But, a few of us still play games. And, that my young friend, is the highlight of most of my days.”
How many of you go to see your Mom or Pop and just don’t know what to do together these days?
It’s a very common problem. Maybe the one we hear the most. “What can we do for fun with Mom and Pop now?”
But, did you know that playing easy games for old people is often the answer. Playing games that are easy enough for old people is one of the most fun thing for them, and for YOU, to do together?
Old people mostly just want our company. And, something to do that’s fun. That’s all. It can be that simple.
Sharing easy games for old people allows us to spend quality time together and have some fun together. What could be better?
And, did you know that playing games keeps us sharp? And, keeps ours minds stronger longer? It even strengthens us upstairs.
“Seniors who play games regularly, whether video games, strategy games, card games, board games, puzzle games, or other kinds of games, can:
All of these perks are incredibly beneficial for seniors, meaning gaming can help you become more able and happier.”
reference: A Place for Mom
As you may already know, we do a lot of surveys before writing an article so that we can find out what our readers and other seniors are thinking and wanting.
We did a simple survey of 161 seniors over 70 and we asked just one simple question: “What are the most popular EASY games for old people.”
Here’s what they said:
One of the best things about card games for old people is that they said they were familiar with the many of these already. Familiar card games provide easy playing for old people.
That means we don’t have to teach our people all about a new game. And, playing with the cards themselves often brings back happy memories and positive emotions from the past.
We found the easiest card game to start with is called “War”. Don’t worry. It’s not violent or aggressive. And, it’s super easy. Here’s how it goes:
Each player turns over just one card. Whoever has the higher card wins and takes both cards. If there is a draw, leave those two cards on the table and each player picks another card. Whoever has the highest card then takes all the turned over cards on the table including the ones that had a draw.
Whoever has the most cards at the end of the deck (or two decks) wins!
Seniors and old people with greatly diminished abilities may also enjoy sorting a deck or two of cards. By color, suit, or number. Super simple, and just right for the very challenged. The whole idea here is to have a task they can win at. No matter how simple. You will see the great joy on their face when they do. These are easy games for old people.
Yes, Bingo. We all know it. And, we all still have fun playing Bingo. Right?
Did you know that Bingo is another game that, like card games, is stimulating to old people because: “It is familiar.”? For this reason it is one of the best easy games for old people.
And, did you know that by playing Bingo our long term memories get jogged and stimulated? This can be the happiest thing for many seniors who are having difficulty in present time.
You can also simplify the Bingo games by making your own cards with less numbers on them. And, you can make the cards BIG with LARGE numbers, so that they are easy to see and read.
Not being able to remember is a big challenge. People with problems remembering often have trouble recalling words too. Easy games for old people can be very strengthening.
So, here is a fun simple game for old people that gets the memory going.
Completing a common phrase helps strengthen recall ability. Like: “An apple a day keeps the _____ away.” or, “Absence makes the heart grow ______.” or, “A picture is worth a thousand ______.”
Here is another easy word puzzle game: Describe an Object.
This is an Easy word game where you describe an object, like a pencil, and have them figure it out by giving them clues: “A writing instrument. Made of wood. An eraser on the top end. Lead in the middle. You write with it….” This game requires concentration and lots of thinking.
Games that use pictures are very effective for stimulating older minds because pictures encourage old people to reminisce. That makes this one of the best easy games for old people. Some of our seniors say they love this one most of all.
Here’s how to play:
Bring out old pictures, photos, scrap books, and any other pictures that may have meaning to them and place them on the table.
Or, if they are more challenged, just ask them to describe each of the people or items in the picture. When it was. What was happening. You’ll normally see some very sweet smiles as the thoughts come back.
Video games are one of the best things there are for old people to play. They come in every ability level there is. There are literally thousands of fun video games available on line for FREE.
“Lead author Jason Allaire, an associate professor of psychology, and Anne McLaughlin, an assistant professor of psychology, and colleagues asked 140 adults age 63 and older how often seniors played video games -- if at all….
The study found seniors who played video games, including those who only played occasionally, reported higher levels of well-being. Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions….”
reference: "U.S. Seniors Happier Playing Video Games"
Of course, old people with slower thinking and slower abilities are not going to be capable of the fast action video games your 12 year old is playing.
The best Video easy games for old people are those designed for younger players. Funny, right?
Remember: The complexity can always be increased if a greater challenge is desired.
These simple Video easy games for old people are mostly free on line. So, you’ll always have hundreds to choose from.
Mastering a puzzle or word game always gives our older family members a great feeling of accomplishment and happiness.
“In a study of roughly 2,800 seniors, researchers found that by regularly engaging in activities (games) related to memory, reasoning and mental speed, individuals saw notable improvements in brain function. These cognitive benefits persisted over the next five years, showing how easy it can be to hone a mind and keep it sharp with a small investment of time.” reference: Scientific American
Jigsaw Puzzles are a favorite of seniors and old people of ALL ability levels.
The reason Jigsaw Puzzles are so popular is that you can get very easy 12 piece puzzles for our very challenged seniors, and Jigsaw Puzzles all the way up to 2,000 piece puzzles for our geniuses. FREE. Online.
More basic Jigsaw Puzzles like 12 or 25 piece customizable jigsaw puzzles are a great start.
You will find FREE customizable puzzles for all ability levels from 4 to 300 pieces here: Free Jigsaw Puzzles.
We all played Dominos as kids and it still is fun!
The beautiful and tactile playing pieces in Dominoes makes for some very easy games for old people. The concepts are very easy to learn. And, you can buy LARGE dominoes that make them even easier to play with.
The game is played with two or more people and the pieces are are not small. So, they are easy to handle.
Checkers is one of the favorite easy games for old people that we all grew up with. Not the challenge of chess, but, still it requires a thinking challenge.
Here you will let the senior of choice lead the game.
In 20 Questions, they will pick a significant thing from their past, and having only to answer “yes” or “no” questions about it, you help them recall memories and you enter into their world.
Recalling memories in a relaxed enjoyable area is very important for old people who are having difficulty with recall. Instead of a terrible moment, recall becomes a fun and pleasurable experience.
The most important point here is: 20 Questions helps us to focus on what can be remembered as opposed to what can not.
This is one of the easy games for old people you may not have heard of. And, we saved it for last because it is a game that was especially developed for old people and remembering.
Call to Mind was developed by an occupational therapist named Angela Newton and Laura Templeton.
Here’s what the developers have to say:
What is Call to Mind…?
“Call to Mind is a Communication Game, specially designed to get old people talking and connecting. It helps get to know and understand the thinking, likes and dislikes of someone with remembering challenges. It can be played at home with friends and family or in the professional setting of a care home, day care center, or memory café.
This game stimulates memories and encourages conversations, both as the game is played and in everyday interactions…. Patients feel less threatened and happily open up and talk about themselves.”
Here is a short VIDEO by Laura Templeton (co-founder of Call to Mind) that explains the game so nicely:
Solitaire is one of the most well-known classic card games of all time. Both easy to learn the rules of a traditionally a one-player game, it’s bound to ring a bell for our aging family members, who likely grew up with it in its physical form.
But, there are now many digital analogs of this game, and one such version is Solitaire Bliss. This site has ten different rule sets and twists on this timeless diversion, and it even guarantees a win if you toggle that setting on!
This famous and well-beloved game will surely help the elderly have a moment of peace and nostalgia.
We’ve all heard of card games like Solitaire, War, and Go Fish, but what about the lesser-known Cribbage?
Cribbage is a classic two-player card game where the goal is to get 121 points on the “cribbage board” using strategic play. The first person to 121 points wins!
There are physical and digital versions of this card game, but if you don’t have a cribbage board, we’d suggest opting for a digital analog. Cribbage Online is an excellent choice for people wanting to relive a lesser-known card game and use their heads to win it.
1) It’s important to let the people who you are playing with choose a game they like. Not one you think is good for them.
2) Recall games for old people are among the best because they make thinking more fluid, bring happiness (if you pick pleasant topics), and the results last a long time.
3) Always choose your games according to the ability of the players. If it’s too difficult, it’s no fun and no help to them. Better to be a little too easy than a little too difficult.
4) Easy games for old people, that the whole family can participate in, provide an enjoyable way for you and your older family members to get together and have a good time.
Enjoy! ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte
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