“Life is more fun if you play games” -Roald Dahl. Seniors can especially enjoy board games as they can offer low-risk challenges and friendly competition. Most of us have a dusty cabinet in our homes with a full stack of neglected board games. It may just be time to bring a box over to your aging loved one to reinforce bonds and reignite the spirit of competition.
Playing games often include side-effects of laughter. Laughter helps in producing endorphins (a chemical that gives the feeling of happiness) and that naturally help muscles to relax and blood to circulate which will evidently lower blood pressure. Laughing together and having fun can keep seniors happy and healthy. More importantly, sharing time playing board games can always be a great opportunity to reconnect with your aging loved one. Socialization is especially crucial for seniors as many often disconnect from social ties. We may not realize the importance but for them it’s quality time and a priceless gift.
Patients of Alzheimers and Dementia have also found many positive results of creative indoor games as they can help seniors improve cognitive functioning, retention, and speech formation. Keeping the mind of seniors’ active and engage means they are exercising the brain and building it stronger. A stronger brain has lower risks of losing its power and thus reduces the risk of cognitive decline, such as associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Creative Indoor Games:
1) Card Games -Card Games such as bridge, rummy; pinochle etc. can stimulate the brain and help memory loss.
2) Board Games – Seniors can enjoy board games like scrabble, carom, Ludo, dominoes, world safari, monopoly, bingo etc.
3) Mahjong – This game involves tile matching. The players simply locate matching tiles and remove them in pairs until they can’t go further or they clear them all.
4) In my suitcase (memory game) – In this game, one person lists an object and the next person has to repeat the previous names and then add his or her own, and so on.
5) What’s That Saying – This game includes hundreds of well-known sayings. Players are given clue words to figure them out. Be the first to guess the correct saying!
6) Reminiscing – Sharing with friends and family the most memorable events, favorite holiday, best advice received, best advice given, funniest moment, favorite memory etc
7) Guess the song – One person plays songs, shares lyrics, or gives clues and the rest guess which song it is.
8) Computer Games- The Internet can provide an unlimited variety of creative games. Find solo and interactive gaming options ranging from adventure, puzzle, and strategic games. Educational games are also a great option not only for children, but also seniors.
9) Crossword Puzzles and other interesting word games like Spellathon, make words, weave a story etc.
10) Pictionary- Challenge your creativity and artistic ability with the guessing game for the humble artist.
11) Dumb Charades- One of the funniest games ever. Guaranteed to promote laughter, reduce stress, and strengthen bonds.
12) Chess- The age old game has always put even the greatest minds to the test. The ultimate game of strategy and precision can be a productive challenge for seniors, especially when pursued more professionally.
13) Checkers- Similar to chess, also helps improve rhythmic processing and strategic thinking.