Playing games is the darling stuff of childhood, but as time passes, we become occupied with our hectic life and start losing touch with our playful side. In the wheel of life, when old age strikes, we have stirred far away from sports and games.
Whether you are young or young at heart, you need to engage in games for the proper cognitive functionality. What comes to your mind if I ask you to name active games for seniors that can be fun to play? If it’s bingo, you should read this article to know what you are missing? Although bingo is fun, there are plenty more fish in the sea.
Your mental and physical health declines in old age, but that does not mean you should become inactive or less social. Joy, amusement, and mental encouragement are necessary for the overall wellbeing of your senior years. An adult individual in their senior years has more time than youngsters to explore or adopt new hobbies.
Playing games at old age can be more than fun and entertainment. From improving certain cognitive functions to helping with dementia, it provides a sense of fulfillment. Here we have a list of games, some of which can be played even with little mobility. So, whether you are aging at home or caring for someone who is getting older, here is the list of some fun activities ideas for seniors that can help them learn new skills and experience new things.
Before we get into the list of games for older adults, let’s go through why you must stay engaged in sports and games at a senior age.
Why Should You Meaningfully Engage the Elders at Home?
If you are stepping into your senior years or have Grandparents to take care of, you must know how important it is to stay engaged with some sports or brain activity. In addition to improving overall wellbeing, exercise reduces the challenging behaviors in seniors with Alzheimer’s.
The games help you in Staying active improves sleep, strength, flexibility. Moreover, it boosts self-esteem and mood, which further helps in challenging behaviors like agitation. Engaging in some fun activity or game is a convenient way to have fun. They eradicate boredom, give relief, and make parties or other social gatherings enjoyable. These are the general benefits of getting engaged in activities at a senior age. Let’s explore more in-depth the importance of physical games for seniors.
Keep Mind Active
In their senior years, people who stay active in sports decrease the risk of adverse conditions caused by several diseases. Engaging in dances, Lunch clubs, and social centers delivers enormous benefits.
Suppose you are not too mobile due to any medical condition and cannot engage in stressful physical sports. In that case, there are plenty of low-stressed senior-friendly activities and exercises which are less vigorous. Tai chi, for example, boosts your aerobic capacity and muscle strength to prevent fall injuries in elders. The body is in constant motion without doing any intense workout. Likewise, who does not like to dance? Dancing not fulfills the entertainment purpose but also raises your heart pumping rate.
Staying active provides a plethora of benefits in improving your strength and fitness, which reduces your chances of getting fall injuries. You don’t have to be dependent on your walk.
Senior Adults have more time to learn and adopt new skills. Games, either physical or brain, are necessary for their golden years’ entertainment. Moreover, they can upskill their learning. Learning does not stop with the end of academic years. In the world of technology, resources and platforms to learn new skills are uncountable.
While there is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s, several studies show some association between brain games and enhancing cognitive health. Learning something new can decrease cognitive aging. When you learn something new, your brain activates the part that produces cells that stimulate mental growth keeping older people happy and healthy.
Senior years can be harsh as the person may get anxiety and depression from getting old, especially if the person has a prior history of a chronic condition. This will affect the mental as well as physical health of the person. If you are getting into your senior years or have someone old in your care, try to play brain games which the whole family can play.
Such active games for seniors will boost their mental health and give them a chance to connect with their loved ones in a meaningful way.
You can include a wider network of friends and family by connecting through a video chat to combat the effect of loneliness and isolation.
Socialization, moreover, promotes various benefits, including lowering the risk of cardiovascular problems and ensuring that your mind stays sharp as you grow older.
Various active aging hubs host multiple activities such as group exercise sessions, health workshops, and community dining to connect people and help them make new friends.
Be Physically Active
Whether you are in the comfort of your house or an elderly care center, staying physically active through different games and activities has many benefits. Physical games for seniors help in
- Enhancing strength and balance
- Prevent cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other medical condition
- Boost your mood and eradicate anxiety
Walking is a good start. You can join programs that can teach you certain steps to move safely. Consult a health care provider if you have not been active for a long time before starting a vigorous workout routine.
Some physical activity is better than none. The benefit of staying physically active can significantly impact the older person’s life within a short time. Regardless of the intensity, staying physically active is essential for health benefits. Try to move more and sit less throughout the day.
Manage High Blood Pressure
Managing high blood pressure is beneficial for your heart and brain. Hypertension is also known as the silent killer as most people possess no symptoms of the condition. Managing your blood pressure will
- Improve your heart health-People having high blood pressure are three times more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases.
- Decrease your chance of stroke-Most people facing their strokes have high blood pressure. A rise in blood pressure damages arteries that cause a stroke.
- Protect your kidney-High blood pressure can make the filtering system of kidneys fragile. Ultimately the decline leads to chronic kidney diseases in which the kidney’s process of filtering the blood becomes less efficient.
- Improves your quality of life-Managing high blood pressure increases your lifespan. By keeping your blood pressure controlled, you can decrease your time spent in hospitals.
- According to the SPRINT MIND study, managing blood pressure drops the risk of mild cognitive damage leading to dementia.
This is a vicious cycle, but you have the power to break it. Activities and physical games for seniors can help you control your blood pressure. In your senior years, it’s important to exercise or stay physically active to maintain a safer blood pressure level. Aerobic exercise like jogging, walking, or dancing can help you lower your blood pressure.
Long-term stress in your senior years can lead to memory loss, eventually leading to dementia or physical disabilities like loss of hearing, vision, mobility. Managing stress is essential for your health maintenance. When left unchecked, it can take a real toll on your physical and mental health.
You can seek help from a professional for stress management. However, in daily life, there are certain ways and active games for seniors to cope with senior age stress, including
Exercise daily-Tai chi practice or walking daily for 20-30 minutes can help in stress management.
Writing- Brain involves activities like writing a journal that can help you put your thoughts on a paper and find the solution to the problem.
Relaxation technique-Certain methods for relaxing therapy focuses on breathing exercises. The aim is to relax your body, which will help lower stress, blood pressure, and muscle tension. A sense of community can also help you cope with the senior age stress and what’s the best way to meet your loved ones over an old game.
Active Games That Encourage Social Interaction
Now when you know how important it is to stay active, especially in your old age after retirement. Let’s move to some active senior games that are fun to play. Here is a list of games to choose from if you are stepping into your senior years or have some old in your care.
Solving jigsaw puzzles can be a healthy distraction if you are fighting senior age stress. The sense of accomplishment and relief you can get on solving a jigsaw puzzle is incomparable. A jigsaw puzzle keeps your brain active that helps with memory loss and dementia.
This can be the best game for older people who limit their mobility or cannot participate in physical activities. As solving jigsaw necessitates both the brain’s logical and creative sides, both hemispheres are actively engaged.
In addition to improving short-term memory, it also enhances visual recognition. Jigsaw puzzles are an excellent way to practice mindfulness- An act of bringing attention to the present moment.
Solving puzzles sparks the mind’s imagination, which enhances creativity and productivity.
If you have limited mobility, you can still get engaged in a game of probability and versatility known as a deck of cards. Spades, bridges, and hearts are some kinds of card games you can play with your loved ones while sitting at the table. Card games provide several mental benefits, including stress release, socialization, and cognitive stimulation.
Card games that require alertness and efficacy can develop your motor and sensory neurons functionality, improving memory and reducing cognitive impairment.
Card games for older adults can enhance mental agility as they rely on math skills and strategy. A playing card is fun at any age, but for adults, it can be more than a source of entertainment and fun. So, if you have a senior under your supervision, keep them busy with the variety of card games to lead them towards a stress-free and healthier life.
Chess has many measurable benefits for the elders. In addition to strengthening mental capacity, it provides them with a hobby and the opportunity to socialize. Socialization helps improve their self-image and decreases the risk of depression.
Chess is considered one of the most challenging games that keeps you engaging, thus enhancing problem-solving skills or creative thinking.
Chess is one of the most active games for seniors that improve social and physical health. A scopic review has shown an association between lower rates of dementia in active chess players. Playing chess can enhance the plasticity of the elderly brain. Like your muscles, your brain will weaken if it’s not getting used. Playing chess improves the brain’s logical reasoning and hence keeps the brain active and healthy.
If you are in your old age, you must have played the popular Chinese game Mahjong. Due to its social factor, it is highly liked by elders. The game is highly engaging and a great way of creating family bonding.
Playing Mahjong, besides then providing a fun element, keeps the brain active as it requires hand-eye coordination and alertness.
Mahjong is also thought to help seniors with dementia. Players can enhance their planning, memory, and calculation skills by building a winning combination of tiles based on symbols and characters.
Mahjong is a popular action game for seniors requiring multiplayer, which can help you with depression and loneliness.
Who does not love playing Bingo? A simple game that can be played in small or large groups is a fun social activity to do in your senior years.
It helps people socialize, which is necessary to maintain the loneliness of senior age depression.
Bingo is a challenging game that can boost your mental capacity to think. Since it involves numbers and requires your attention, it can slow the decline of aging and promote mental wellbeing.
Bingo has been a popular game in residential care facilities and senior centers as it has a lot more value than being fun and leisure.
Bingo boosts your physical health by allowing you to laugh with your game partners. It also improves your hand-eye coordination. We all know as we age, our reflexes and coordination between organs begin to decline. Bingo can help you improve this.
Most Board games require at least 4-5 players that help you strengthen your bond with players. That is why many assisted living facilities have several board games ideas.
The era of advanced technology has given these classic games an online format. Online games like Monopoly, Clue, Game of life are popular names. However, if you are a senior and still want to play classic games like chess or backgammon, you can find different versions directly from your phone or website.
Mental and physical games for seniors provide several benefits that can add fun and value to your senior life. Incorporating sports and physical activities in someone’s life who is in their senior age can bring the feeling of relief and nostalgia.
Board games like scrabble and Boggle are easy to understand and relaxing to the eyes. Moreover, they improve mental clarity and analytical thinking.
Popular dice games like poker with dice, nix the six and ten pins are not only fun to play but have a lot of learning and brain activity.
These Dice games promote competition, collaboration, cognitive skill development, and you can play them wherever you want.
Dice games help to keep the brain sharp by practicing your arithmetic skills. You can also make a scoreboard to track who is winning by how many points. That, too, will help your senior loved ones to stay engaged.
Safe and Physically Active Games For Seniors
Now when you know all the brain-involved classic games, you can play in your senior age or with your senior loved ones with low or minimal mobility. Let’s get into the importance of staying physically active, which is essential for maintaining a healthy life in your old age.
A persistent myth about senior age is Any kind of physical activity may be strenuous when you reach the autumn of your life. There are certain physical games for seniors that are fun to play and help them with senility.
Playing an actual volleyball game can be hectic and challenging for an older person. Nevertheless, alternatives like balloon volleyball are always there to make the game enjoyable for seniors. This game’s only rule has been not to let the ball fall on the ground. Soothing music and throwback of the hands slapping balloons can help them feel alive and happy.
Besides, keeping the balloon in the air while sitting on the chair is a great exercise that can improve balance, reflex, strength, and cardiac function.
The fun activity is a great physical challenge for seniors. It lets them relive their youthful days and gives them nostalgia through play.
Balloon volleyball can be great for visual tracking, and when playing while standing, you can work on standing balance and weight shifting, and lower extremity strength.
It’s fun to add extra difficulty to such active games for seniors. For that purpose, you can substitute a beach ball which is a bit heavier, so it will be a little harder because it won’t stay in the air as long.
For seniors looking for low-impact exercises, pickleball is the go-to option. The Simple rule and the fun factor involved make it popular among the seniors, and it can improve the fitness level if played regularly.
According to a study, playing pickleball three times a week has shown improved cardiovascular health and stable blood pressure. Moreover, pickleball helps with hand-eye coordination.
Moderate pickleball sports, including badminton, table tennis, and tennis elements, are among the best physical games for seniors.
Whether you are an active senior or in a wheelchair, you can enjoy the game. The game has a low impact on knees and joints, and it is the most preferred paddle activity against aging adults.
The intensity and pace you can achieve playing pickleball make it one of the best aerobic exercises to keep your heart rate up and strengthen your arm muscles.
Another contributing factor in the popularity of pickleball is its social component. Pickleball can be played in single or double formats.
Toss games like ring toss and bean bag toss can be played standing or sitting, making it for both people on wheelchairs or mobile.
The tossing motion necessitates the exercise of arm muscle and upper body. Ring toss includes throwing some lightweight over a prearranged configuration of bottles.
No matter how much grip you acquire over them, tossing games can be easy to comprehend even with different levels of difficulty.
Tossing games can be made more exciting and a hell of fun when played in groups or teams, thus providing a social factor. Make the team compete against each other to see who can score more toss in the ring or disc in the hoop.
I have read somewhere you don’t stop dancing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop dancing.
Whoever said that- The legend does the right thing. Dance can be considered as one of the most active games for seniors. Aerobic exercise is slower than high-intensity cardio exercises but is way safer and effective for older people.
With music and dance, the soul never ages. Moreover, it is a great physical activity everyone can do. People with less mobility or dementia can also enjoy any sort of dancing activity. Also, you do not have to be professional to show your moves.
In addition to dance, certain studies recognize the cognitive benefits of listening to music as it can trigger the feeling of happiness and satisfaction.
If you have any seniors in your supervision, take them to concerts or musical parties or turn on the radio to see them moving while enjoying to their fullest.
Many assisted living facilities arrange musical nights for entertainment purposes. Several activities like chair dance and the musical ball can increase the overall strength and agility in old age.
Communication is an integral part of a human being. Nevertheless, it becomes complicated with age due to dementia or physical disability. In a situation like this, several art activities can be a solution to enable communications for elders.
Art classes cover a variety of fun activities ranging from painting to cooking that can pique your interest and promote creativity. This will enhance cognitive as well as physical health.
People of any age can learn, cook, make a scrapbook, or get involved in other art activities. These activities have both psychological and physical healing effects.
Studies have shown the positive effect of Art therapy on patients with dementia. The ability to create something does not necessarily decline as we grow old. Thus, people with dementia can still successfully create visual art to express themselves.
Art is a frivolous hobby for youngsters, but it can enhance the life of your senior loved ones to solve the communication struggle they are facing.
Moving further on active games for seniors, keep reading if you are looking for more options.
Words and Number Games
Games like scrabble, words in words, and complete the saying can result in pleasant reminiscences and conversations.
With such games, you can strengthen your problem-solving skills, which can benefit Alzheimer’s patients. Word games for seniors are also a great way to socialize and reduce depression. By playing word games or number games, seniors can improve the sharpness of their minds.
Just like physical activeness, mental health also needs to be strengthened and flexible. Words and number games can be the best exercise of your mind.
You can play such active games for seniors anywhere at any time. These are also available online with different versions, so you do not have to be dependent in old age. Playing word or number games is essential to maintain alertness, ability, and sharpness of the mind.
Electronic Sit-down Games for Older People
Whoever said the technology is for young people said it wrong. You can grab the game controller from your Grandkid, and that’s not at all a crime. Just like mental active games for seniors are beneficial, there are certain electronic games with advanced graphics and difficulty levels that are fun to play and can help you stay active.
Brain Age-A group of brain games created by Nintendo is a workout for your brain that stimulates and challenges your memory.
20Q-This is a game of 20 questions that will tell you answers to the questions. This is an excellent way to track your mental progress.
Certain electronic games you can enjoy even in your senior games are mentioned below.
No matter how old you’re, you can make use of virtual entertainment. More elderly people are turning towards electronic games due to their numerous health benefits.
Each player picks a beanbag or symbol of their choice, and on the alternative turn, the player writes their symbol on it. The first player to get three in a row wins.
Don’t let this simplicity fool you, though. As the game proceeds, the difficulty level is enhanced. This is a great way to kill time if you have no one to talk to.
Besides, it can increase your critical thinking by exercising your mental muscles. If you are worried about your senior loved one’s mental health, electronic active games for seniors are a great way to keep them busy.
This game was released in 2006 and is one of the older games on the list. The game has several health benefits, including getting up on your feet which improves balance and coordination.
Although it is simpler when seen through today’s standards, the success of the game is undeniable. Players select one of the five activities tennis, golf, boxing, or baseball. By using the Wii remote, anyone can mimic sports in real life by throwing a punch in a boxing match or swinging a golf club.
It helps you make bonding with your family or friends in senior age. Moreover, it keeps you engaged, which is an excellent mental activity. To succeed, you will need quick reflexes and a sharp strategic mind.
Playing such games can enhance the production of gray matter in the hippocampus. In addition to that, such video games can delay the onset of dementia.
The world of video games may seem daunting at first when you reach elderliness. However, you should give it a chance.
There are many options you can try to liven up your dull senior age. Try fun book club games like alphabet soup, extend the end, Hollywood bowl, and literary grab bag. Playing such video games will help you retain your independence even in your old age.
These games have great options, even if you are a newbie. They can be challenging as well as fun to play as you get stuck on a certain level, you can take help from the group. That way, you can improve your socializing skills.
Keeping Exercise Safe is the Priority.
By now, I hope you know how beneficial it is to stay active. Above we explained some active games for seniors that can also help with the condition known as dementia.
Nevertheless, the top priority should be to make sure the person involved in these activities stays safe during and after these activities.
- If you are in the late years of your life or have someone in your supervision, consult a physician before exposing yourself to any such activity. According to your cognitive and physical conditions, the doctor can tell you how much intensity you can bear.
- Keep your senior loved ones engaged by checking in with brief conversations. If they speak fluently without any symptoms like breath shortness, maintain the pace. However, if it’s difficult for them to hold a conversation, slow down the pace.
- Ensure that they keep themselves hydrated before, during, and after exercise.
- Make them wear a medical alert bracelet, personal identification, or GPS tracker if they are going for some outdoor activity to track them if they get lost easily.
- If they feel dizziness while doing any activity, stop the action immediately. Consult a doctor to ensure they can continue the particular exercise in the future or not.
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