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GamesSenior Lifestyle

13 Group Games for Seniors to Socialize: Fun & Easy Ideas

Written by Dayna C
Last Updated :
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Group games for seniors are a FANTASTIC way to promote socialization, improve cognitive function, and boost overall well-being.

As a caregiver, I know firsthand how important it is to keep them engaged and entertained, and what better way to do that than with some fun and exciting games?

Whether it’s bingo, charades, or trivia, group games for seniors are sure to keep their minds and bodies active.

So, go ahead and get ready to have some fun!

Key Takeaways

  • Group games can provide numerous benefits for seniors, including mental, physical, and emotional benefits.
  • When hosting game sessions for seniors, it’s important to choose the right game, create a comfortable environment, encourage participation, provide refreshments, and celebrate successes.
  • Playing group games can be a fun and rewarding way for seniors to socialize and bond with others, contributing to overall health and well-being.

Playing group games can be a fun and rewarding way for seniors to socialize and bond with others, contributing to overall health and well-being. Incorporating mind stimulating games for seniors not only adds entertainment but also enhances cognitive function.

Here are some of the most popular options:

1. Bingo

Bingo is a classic game that is popular with seniors because it’s easy to learn and can accommodate a large group. Many often wonder, “Why do old people love bingo?”

Bingo is also great for seniors with limited mobility because it can be played while sitting.

senior playing bingo games

2. Card Games

Card games are especially popular with seniors because they can be played with just a deck of cards and a group of people. Bridge, Canasta, and Rummy are all popular choices.

group of friends playing Easy Card Games for Seniors

Additionally, there are simple card games for seniors that are easy to learn and play, making them ideal for both newcomers and those familiar with card games.

3. Board Games

Board games are a great way to challenge the mind and provide a fun and engaging way to connect with others. Scrabble, Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, and Backgammon are all popular board games among seniors.

seniors playing chess

Discover a collection of more enjoyable sit-down games perfect for senior citizens in our video, “Fun Sit-Down Games For Senior Citizens To Play!”

4. Word Games

Word games like Crossword Puzzles, Word Search, and Trivia are great for seniors who enjoy working with words and testing their knowledge.

5. Video Games

Video games like Wii Sports, Brain Age, and Just Dance are great for seniors who enjoy technology and want to stay active while having fun. For those who prefer tablets, there are also the best free iPad games for seniors available that cater specifically to their interests and cognitive needs.

group of seniors playing video games

6. Crafts

Crafts like painting, knitting, and scrapbooking are great ways to bond with others while creating something unique and beautiful.

senior woman crocheting

7. Trivia Night

 Trivia Night is an excellent game that allows seniors to show off their knowledge and learn new facts in a fun and engaging way.

8. Never Have I Ever

A fun little game that encourages players to share stories and memories from their past.


9. Bocce Ball

Bocce Ball is a popular outdoor game that is great for seniors because it’s easy to learn and can be played on a variety of surfaces.

10. Croquet

Croquet is a fun and challenging outdoor game that requires skill and strategy. It’s a great way to get some exercise while connecting with others.

9. Horseshoes

Horseshoes is a classic outdoor game that is popular with seniors because it’s easy to learn and can be played in a variety of settings.

10. Shuffleboard


Shuffleboard is a popular game among seniors because it requires skill and strategy. It’s also a great way to get some exercise while connecting with others.

11. Lawn Bowling

Lawn Bowling is a fun and challenging game that requires precision and skill. It’s a great way to socialize and get some exercise outdoors.

For further information, here is a FUN video for more bright ideas:

Benefits of Group Games for Seniors

Beyond just providing entertainment, these games can boost cognitive function, promote social interaction, and even decrease the risk of depression and anxiety.

Playing group games can stimulate the mind, improving memory, cognitive skills, and problem-solving abilities [1].

Physical benefits

Group games are fun for seniors and can improve their overall physical well-being, helping them maintain an active lifestyle and reducing the risk of age-related health problems.

senior playing bowling

Surprisingly, a recent study published in the Journal of Health mentioned that “Body movement-controlled video games involving physical motion and visual attention may have the potential to train both abilities simultaneously. [2]

As shown above, many games require movement, which can improve balance, coordination, and dexterity.

Whether it’s a game of cards or a more physically demanding activity like bocce ball, group games offer seniors the opportunity to stay engaged and active.

Emotional benefits

Aside from the general emotional benefits, playing group games — even online games — can also positively impact seniors’ moral development.

senior playing card games

Professor Mark Coeckelbergh of the University of Twente believes computer games can encourage empathy and a sense of global citizenship [3].

This can lead to seniors becoming more empathetic and cosmopolitan individuals: “I sketch a positive account of how computer games can stimulate an empathetic and cosmopolitan moral development. [4]

That is so true: by participating in group games, seniors have an enjoyable and social activity and an opportunity to improve their emotional intelligence and develop a greater awareness of others.

5 Tips for Hosting Successful Game Sessions

Hosting game sessions for seniors can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips for making sure your game sessions are successful:

#1 Choose the Right Game

Hannah R. Marston, from the School of Computing at Teesside University, explains, “Quantitative results showed the older adults in this study preferred or would consider playing games in the adventure, strategy, puzzle and sport genres. [5]”

That’s right: When selecting a game, consider the interests and abilities of your group.

Choose games that are easy to learn, engaging, and accessible for all participants.

#2 Create a Comfortable Environment

It’s important to consider the environment in which you’ll be playing the game. You want to make sure that the space is comfortable and conducive to gameplay.

This means ensuring the room is well-lit and clean, with adequate seating and a comfortable temperature.

Before you begin, you should also make sure that all necessary equipment and materials are prepared and readily available before playing these fun games.

This will help to prevent any interruptions or delays during gameplay and ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

#3 Encourage Participation

Seniors sometimes feel a bit hesitant to join in group activities, which is totally understandable.

However, it’s important to create an environment that’s warm and welcoming, where they feel encouraged to participate.

You can begin by introducing the game and its rules in a clear and simple manner. And if anyone needs a helping hand, don’t hesitate to offer assistance with a friendly smile.

Throughout the game, it’s essential to give seniors positive feedback and words of encouragement to help them feel more comfortable and confident.

With your encouragement and support, seniors can enjoy themselves and discover new connections with their peers.

#4 Provide Refreshments

Offer refreshments like snacks and drinks to keep everyone energized and engaged. This also provides a great opportunity for socializing and bonding.

#5 Celebrate Successes

Acknowledge and celebrate successes, whether it’s a winning game or a personal achievement. This helps to foster a positive and supportive environment.

FAQs

What are some other benefits of playing group games for seniors?

In addition to mental, physical, and emotional benefits, playing group games can also improve hand-eye coordination, enhance communication skills, and promote creativity.

Can seniors with limited mobility still participate in group games?

Yes!
Many group games can be adapted for seniors with limited mobility, including Bingo and card games.

How often should seniors participate in group games?

It’s recommended that seniors participate in group games at least once a week to reap the maximum benefits of socialization and activity.
However, it’s important to listen to your body and not overdo it.

Can group games help prevent dementia?

Certainly!
While there is no cure for dementia, studies have shown that engaging in mentally stimulating activities like playing group games can help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and may delay the onset of dementia.

Conclusion

Now that you have some great group games for seniors don’t miss the party!

Any game for seniors involving a group game can provide numerous benefits, including mental, physical, and emotional benefits.

Not only are these games simple games, but they also provide a distinct advantage of group work that you simply cannot find being alone.

Physical activities like outdoor games or body movement-controlled video games can provide a fun way to exercise and improve motor skills.

As shown in this article, there are many popular games to choose from, both indoors and outdoors, and hosting successful game sessions can be a fun activity and rewarding experience.

So, get going and enjoy all these great brain games — and leave me a comment to tell me what you’ve learned!

Until next time…

group of seniors playing colorful balls

Resources

1. Chen P-J, Hsu H-F, Chen K-M, Belcastro F. Effects of Tabletop Games on Cognition in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Games for Health Journal. 2022;

2. Kletzel SL, Sood P, Negm A, Heyn PC, Krishnan S, Machtinger J, et al. Effectiveness of Brain Gaming in Older Adults With Cognitive Impairments: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 2021;

3. Alghamdi M, Vallis LA, Leat SJ. The association between visual attention and body movement-controlled video games, balance and mobility in older adults. BMC Geriatrics. 2021;21.

4. Coeckelbergh M. Violent computer games, empathy, and cosmopolitanism. Ethics and Information Technology. 2007;9:219–31.

5. Marston HR. Older adults as 21st century game designers. The Computer Games Journal. 2012;1:90–102.

About Author

Dayna C
Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a background as an in-home caregiver for the elderly. She left the field temporarily three years ago to stay at home with her twins, but found that she really missed working with senior citizens. She launched LoAids as a way to help not just her own loved ones and former clients, but ALL seniors live life to the fullest in their golden years.  Follow her on LINKEDIN and TWITTER. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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