Are you looking for fun solo games for seniors? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Brain health is particularly crucial in the elderly, as it deteriorates with time, so it’s vital to keep the mind active with games and stimulating activities (1).
And that’s why I’ve gathered a list of the 10 best one-person fun games for seniors. Read on to find them out.
10 Games for Seniors to Play Alone
Although this app is recent, and you may think it’s too modern for the elderly, nothing could be further from the truth!
The online games consist of guessing a new word each day with only 6 attempts. It won’t take more than 5-10 minutes of the senior’s time, and it can enhance their cognition.
How to play? You write one word, and the game will tell you what letters you wrote are in the word (green), which aren’t (gray), are which are misplaced (yellow).
You can learn more about the game in this Wordle tutorial.
Crosswords are similar to Wordle, and they are a great way to keep cognitive skills active and prevent language from deteriorating, leading to fewer chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s. (3)
And the best part is how easy to play they are. Just read the hints on each number and guess the words.
Once you figure some of them out, you can rule others out because the syllables that would be formed with crossed letters don’t make sense.
You can find free online crosswords or buy the classic crossword book to fill in with a pencil – let the elderly decide!
Puzzles can be a great solo game for seniors. They require patience and a love for the visuals. If you or someone you take care of meets these conditions, give them a go.
A 1000-piece puzzle will keep you entertained for a long time, and thus you’ll make the most out of the spent money. You can find some fun puzzles on Amazon or even borrow them from libraries or other acquaintances if you’re saving up.
- GiiKER Super Slide Brain Games
- The Genius Square
- Kanoodle Extreme Puzzle Game
- FoxMind Match Madness
- EXIT: The Deserted Lighthouse (With Jigsaw Puzzle)
- Escape Room The Game Puzzle Adventures The Secret of The Scientist
- ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game
- Buffalo Games – Days to Remember – Country Road – 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
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These classic brain games every computer has is an excellent hobby to enjoy on your own. Board games for seniors may help keep their minds sharp.
The game goal is to arrange the cards by moving them over a tableau. Depending on the solitaire variation, you’ll have to arrange them in ascending or descending order.
You can play it on your laptop since it probably has it installed already. If not, download it on the app store or buy a physical one.
You can play an online version with other players for social interaction.
Although it seems like an easy game, it can get tricky sometimes. Here is a beginner solitaire guide for you to get started!
5) Rubik’s Cube
Did you know that a Rubik’s cube may help prevent dementia? This memory game has been around for a long time, and it’s famous for being insolvable.
But the truth is that you can solve the puzzle game! And so can the elderly. Once you get the hang of how and when to turn the cubes, it gets easier and more fun.
Some people solve a Rubik’s cube in seconds. Yes, seconds. That’s how automatized they have the process! It’s a best-selling toy, so you can find one everywhere at an affordable price, like on Amazon.
6) Nintendo Switch Games
Recent studies show Nintendo games can increase seniors’ psychological and physical well-being (2). As the world advances, so does our entertainment!
There are many Nintendo Switch games for older adults, such as Animal Crossing, Brain Training, or Monopoly.
Video games combine the best of classic board games and the excitement new technologies bring, providing a unique experience.
Video consoles are not particularly expensive these days, so you can gift one to your parents or grandparents on a special day like Christmas or their birthday.
Chess is one of the classic games of all time. Likely, the elder already knows how to play, but if that’s not the case, you can be the teacher and have fun together, as you can see in this video.
Players need to think about all the possible moves, not only from themselves but the competitors too. This also helps in problem-solving skills. Each chess piece has its own movement pattern, making things more interesting.
You can play chess online and compete with other people or the AI. Either way, it’s a great way to spend free time.
Here is a list of must-have items for a chess beginner.
- Chess set
- Chess Clock
- A scorebook
- Chess software
Although this may not be considered a game, we included this immersive activity in the best things for bored seniors to do at home.
It’s a relaxing activity for seniors that significantly improves mental health in creative activity groups (4) and has tons of health benefits.
But you can also paint alone, and the benefits will be similar.
Buying a canvas and acrylic paints for the senior, for instance, might be a great start. Or maybe they prefer watercolors.
There are so many different materials and choices in the artistic world they can experiment for days and months!
Bingo is a social game that helps seniors boost their social life and distract their minds for a while.
You can play solo bingo on the Internet or mobile apps, but it’s way more fun with friends.
Bingo is a classic version for all generations – even the youngest ones at home love it. You can spice things up and help slow busy minds by betting something like a lollipop or the privilege of not cleaning the dishes.
It’s truly one of those fun games to play with seniors that they will surely love!
Sudoku is another of the classic games for brain exercise everyone’s heard about. The rules are simple: you need to fill each row and column with the numbers 1 to 9.
Depending on the level and difficulty, you may only have to fill numbers 1 to 3 or 6.
But there’s one trick: there can’t be two identical numbers in the same row or column. So getting the right combination becomes a challenge, and thus it boosts your cognitive activity.
It has different levels of difficulty.
You can find plenty of free sudoku resources online, or if you prefer, you can download an app for your mobile device.
Hopefully, this “solo games for seniors” guide provided fun activities for seniors to try at home or the nursing home with their loved ones.
Playing games while keeping the mind sharp is crucial at every life stage, especially as we grow older. And the best thing is most of the games to play with the seniors are either free or affordable and available online!
What are your favorite solo games for seniors? Please share below!
- 1. Cognitive Health and Older Adults [Internet]. National Institute on Aging. Available from: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults#:~:text=In%20some%20studies%2C%20physical%20activity
- 2. Jung Y, Li KJ, Janissa NS, Gladys WLC, Lee KM. Games for a better life. Proceedings of the Sixth Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment – IE ’09. 2009;
- 3. How Crossword Puzzles May Keep Alzheimer’s Away [Internet]. Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. 2012 [cited 2022 Jun 3]. Available from: https://www.alzinfo.org/articles/crossword-puzzles-alzheimers/
- 4. CADDY L, CRAWFORD F, PAGE AC. “Painting a path to wellness”: correlations between participating in a creative activity group and improved measured mental health outcome. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 2011;19:327–33.