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GamesSenior Lifestyle

11 Memory Games for Seniors: Boosting Cognitive Function

Written by GrigorinaLoa
Last Updated :
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Do you know that memory games for seniors boost one’s coordination, focus, and attention?

One of my grandparents often had problems remembering things, so the specialists I talked to suggested memory games to support brain health. 

So, I’m here to share some of the best memory games for seniors that did wonders for my grandparent’s well-being and confidence.

Just keep reading. 

Quick Summary

  • Memory games for seniors can delay the onset of cognitive decline, strengthen memory, and boost emotional health. 
  • Seniors with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive problems can use special puzzles to improve their cognitive skills.
  • Consider the player’s ability and the game’s platform when choosing the best memory games for seniors. 

Top 11 Memory Games for Seniors in 2024 

People start developing their cognitive skills in their first years of life. However, these skills decrease with age, so elderly people have a slower processing speed.

Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases also affect physical and mental health, resulting in memory loss and other neurological problems. 

And while there’s no cure for some conditions, brain games are an excellent choice to strengthen one’s cognitive functions and delay the onset of memory loss.

But what are the best memory games for seniors to keep the brain active? Here are my top 12 suggestions for you. 

Word Search is a simple game where you must find a word in a grid of letters. But do you know how many health benefits it has for children and adults?

According to specialists from Little Brain Publishing, “It develops skills like perception, attention, memory, language, visual processing, and executive functions.” (1)

Studies also say that engaging in word puzzles can delay the onset of memory decline by improving cognitive functions. (2)

And you don’t have to buy tons of word search books. You’ve got plenty of online word search games that provide brain exercise! 

Get ready to flex your brain muscles and sharpen your vocabulary skills with this fun and informative video on how to play Word Search!

#2 Bingo

Bingo is a classic game for seniors, but it has more benefits for one’s health than you can imagine. Bingo can help elderly people overcome loneliness and depression by increasing social interaction.

Moreover, you need good memory skills, fast reflexes, and excellent concentration to play this fun game. So, Bingo keeps the mind sharp and may prevent cognitive decline.

According to studies, combining Bingo, physical activity, and health education helps elderly people become more independent. 

Best of all, plenty of online bingo platforms exist, allowing you to engage with people worldwide! 

Looking for a fun game to play with friends or family? Check out this video to learn how to play Bingo:

#3 Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaws are a fun activity with plenty of benefits for health, concentration, and thinking. And it’s not a puzzle game suitable only for children.  

It can combat cognitive decline in seniors by enhancing problem-solving skills, improving visual-spatial skills, and boosting short-term memory. 

Moreover, patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s can try special Alzheimer’s jigsaws designed to slow cognitive decline and strengthen one’s brain power. 

And finishing puzzles give you a sense of accomplishment, so it’s also great for improving one’s mood and relieving stress. 

Get ready to take your jigsaw puzzle skills to the next level with these expert tips:

#4 Solitaire

Solitaire is still the most popular card game for people of all ages. It’s easy but challenging and can test one’s ability to strategize. Several versions are available for free on the Internet. 

Solitaire games are an excellent way to keep seniors’ minds engaged because they can improve memory, concentration, and decision-making. 

Moreover, Solitaire is relaxing and can reduce stress and blood pressure levels. It also helps you sleep better at night, thus improving your quality of life.  

And you can always play such games with your friends – all you need is a deck of cards! Check this video to see a demonstration:

A hint from me – you can also use a deck of cards to play a matching game to improve your motor skills and short-term memory. 

#5 Sudoku

Sudoku is another great memory game for seniors. The object is to fill a 9×9 grid with numbers from 1 to 9 without repeating them in columns, rows, and 3×3 squares. 

This stimulating activity protects the brain against memory loss, can improve brain function, and boosts focus. And sudoku comes in several difficulty levels, perfect for beginners or experienced players.

Nowadays, you can get plenty of Sudoku books from Amazon or get your daily dose of brain activity online for free! 

#6 CogniFit

CogniFit is a brain training app, perfect for training seniors’ cognitive abilities, reacting time, focus, and short-term memory. It lets you track your data, play interactive games, and create a custom plan.

Moreover, it offers you guided mindfulness techniques to improve mental health, and it can give you an estimate of your cognitive age. 

Best of all, this brain training game is designed by neuroscience experts and uses revolutionary methods to improve memory and cognitive abilities. 

Get ready to exercise your brain with the CogniFit Brain Fitness Program – the fun and interactive way to improve your cognitive abilities:

#7 Memozor

Memozor is an online website that offers over 20 free matching games for seniors. Matching is a great way to train memory because you must remember where the pairs are.

Moreover, matching improves visual recognition, improves your ability to detect patterns, and can boost language skills, according to research on students’ performance.

#8 Gardens of Time

Gardens of Time is an online hidden object game. The goal is to find objects, earn coins, and create a garden with beautiful buildings, flowers, and decorations. 

You can also participate in monthly events that allow you to craft beautiful objects for your garden and meet new people since you need online friends to complete buildings.

Hidden object puzzles are also suitable for training memory skills because you have to remember the positions of the objects when playing scenes. 

Moreover, these games enhance coordination, calm the mind, and stimulate creativity. And are a great way to relieve the stress of everyday life. 

Watch how this game works:

#9 TriviaPlaza

Trivia games are another excellent alternative for keeping minds sharp. And TriviaPlaza offers you more than ten categories and hundreds of quizzes to pass. 

I like it because the quizzes are short, engaging, and challenging. They allow you to strengthen your logical thinking skills and practice research when you don’t know the answer. 

Moreover, these quizzes won’t take much of your time, so TriviaPlaza is an excellent game for seniors with busy schedules. 

#10 PixWords Scene

PixWords is a word game where you look at pictures to spell the right word that fits the image. It’s excellent for stimulating one’s thinking, memory, and logic.

Some pictures are easy to guess, but some are bound to challenge the mind. You also have a daily puzzle to solve to earn extra coins.  

I also like that you can find the answers to difficult pictures online, so you don’t have to spend real money. And there are over 3000 levels to play, so it’s a great daily game. 

Get ready to solve some picture puzzles with this entertaining walkthrough of PixWords Scenes levels 1-10:

#11 Skills – Logic Brain Game

Logic puzzles are great for sharpening seniors’ memory, and this Google brain training app is one of the best for a fun workout. You can test your memory, improve color perception, boosts reflexes, and more.

The app also has some exciting features, such as multiplayer game mode. Seniors can play with friends or random people and keep tabs on their scores. 

#12 MentalUp

MentalUp is an online app that offers various quick games for seniors, perfect for mental exercises and improving cognitive health.

You can match cards, test how well you remember faces, follow patterns, unscramble letters, and more. And unlike other online games, MentalUp can help strengthen visual and aural memory. 

Check out this video on how to use MentalUP Educational Brain Games:

Make sure also to check out the informative articles on “Activities for Parkinson’s Patients,” “Games for Visually Impaired Adults,” and “Free Games for Seniors to Play Alone” for some wonderful ideas and helpful tips. Stay active, engaged, and happy!

How to Pick the Best Memory Games for Seniors?

Memory games enhance seniors’ cognitive health, but you must pick the right ones to reap the benefits. Here are three tips to help you.

#1 Platform

Some memory games are available for phones, tablets, or laptops. Consider the type of device to ensure it’s easy for seniors to play the games. 

And for seniors who can’t use mobile devices, regular puzzles and board games are a better choice. 

#2 Difficulty

Some brain training exercises can be easy for seniors without mental problems and too challenging for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Ensure the game’s difficulty matches the seniors’ ability. You can watch online YouTube videos to see how the game works or read reviews.

#3 Price

Some online memory games are free, but you can purchase in-app currency to progress quickly through the levels. And it’s easy to spend more than you planned on such games. 

And some video and board games are pretty expensive. So, consider the cost when choosing the best memory games for seniors. 

If you’re looking for fun and engaging activities for seniors, be sure also to check out our article on group games for seniors – it’s full of creative and entertaining ideas that can help keep your loved ones active, engaged, and social!

FAQs

1. What is the best game to help with memory?

Chess is one of the best games to help with memory, strengthen problem-solving skills, develop creativity, and prevent Alzheimer’s. Sudoku and jigsaw puzzles are also beneficial. 

2. What games are easy for seniors with dementia?

Traditional games, such as chess, checkers, domino, Scrabble, or Monopoly, are easy for seniors with dementia. You can also try special jigsaw puzzles. 

3. What are simple memory exercises for seniors?

One simple memory exercise for seniors is to add and subtract numbers mentally. You can also count backward, repeat and recall people’s words, or draw maps from memory. 

Conclusion

Memory games for seniors are more than fun activities to pass the time and prevent boredom. They can help seniors retain cognitive abilities and slow down memory loss. 

Games are also an excellent way to stay connected with friends or improve bonds with grandchildren. And seniors have plenty of free online games to try. 

What do you think about these memory games for seniors? Which one is your favorite? Tell me what you think in the comment section. 

senior citizens playing solitaire

Resources:

1. Publishing LB. What Skills Do Word Searches Develop? 15 Noted Benefits In Children [Internet]. littlebrainpublishing.com. Available from: https://littlebrainpublishing.com/word-search-benefits-in-children/

2. Pillai JA, Hall CB, Dickson DW, Buschke H, Lipton RB, Verghese J. Association of Crossword Puzzle Participation with Memory Decline in Persons Who Develop Dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS [Internet]. 2011;17. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3885259/

3. Sivakumar R. Global and Lokal Distance Education-GLOKALde. 2022; Available from: https://www.glokalde.com/pdf/issues/21/Article2.pdf

About Author

GrigorinaLoa
Grigorina discovered that writing is her vocation early in her school years. Since then, she's taken part in several literary contests. For the past three years, she's also been an ELS teacher, pouring her heart into showing children and adults how important English is for their future. She has a Bachelor's degree in Applied Linguistics, an ESL Teacher's degree, and a Master's degree in Accounting. Follow her on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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