The Best Free Brain Games for Seniors

26 April 2020 Assisted Living

Staying active is important for senior citizens, but it’s not only their body that needs to get regular exercise. They need to exercise the mind as well, and free brain games for seniors can help with that.

The good news for senior citizens is that brain games are now more accessible than ever. You don’t need to go to the toy store to find something to play.

If you have a laptop or a mobile device, you can go online to play some brain games or even download them so that you can continue to work out your brain even without an internet connection.

For more on which games are worth your time and the real benefits they provide, please go ahead and read on.

What Are the Benefits of Brain Games for Senior Citizens?

“Brain games are good for senior citizens.” It sounds like a reasonable statement and one that certainly sounds correct.

But is that the case? Can senior citizens gain something of value from spending time playing games on their laptops or mobile devices?

Well, it depends on what you are expecting these games to do for you.

If you’re hoping they will protect your brain from diseases and other conditions that usually accompany old age, the science on that remains inconclusive. Some studies are hinting that playing brain games regularly can delay the onset of conditions such as dementia, while others have found no connection.

That bit of news may be disappointing, but don’t let that discourage you from taking up brain games altogether. While those games may not provide impenetrable protection from disease, they can still keep your brain healthy by providing other benefits.

To be more specific, they can maintain certain thinking skills that people use all the time. Your decision-making and planning can improve if you play brain games regularly. Senior citizens who play brain games often may even improve their reaction time.

Playing games often can also have a positive effect on a senior citizen’s memory. A study focusing on senior citizens who played a 3D platforming game revealed that their playtime had a positive impact on the growth of gray matter volume in the cerebellum and the hippocampus.

The hippocampus is a part of the brain that specializes in episodic and spatial memory. Short-term memory also improved in senior citizens who played that game.

Pairing brain games with regular physical exercises can also help a senior citizen more effectively build up his/her cognitive reserve. Having a substantial cognitive reserve is important, especially if you want to remain quick-witted as you age.

One last thing brain games can do for senior citizens is to stave off decline. By not stimulating your brain often, elements of it may start to atrophy. That could eventually lead to you losing a lot of brainpower.

Variety Is Important

Now that you know more about the real benefits brain games can offer, you’re probably trying to come up with a list of games to try out. There’s nothing wrong with relying on some old favorites, but you should also introduce some variety into your rotation.

The problem with sticking to games you’ve already spent years playing is that they may not offer much in the way of stimulation. On the other hand, a new and unfamiliar game is going to present a fresh challenge. Such a game will force your brain to work harder, and that’s a good thing.

With that in mind, you can find different games below that will challenge you in different ways. Some of them are indeed classic offerings that you’ve probably played a bunch of times already, but some newer titles can be beneficial to your brain.

These are also free brain games for seniors, so you don’t need to worry about the cost.

Chess

Chess has been around for a long time. There’s a good chance you even learned how to play this game from your grandparents.

While the experience of moving around chess pieces on a physical board is delightful, there are still reasons why playing chess online can be preferable.

For starters, senior citizens will have the chance to challenge players from all over the world. Even if no one at home or at their assisted living facility is up for a few chess matches, they can still go online and find an opponent.

Another benefit of enjoying this online version of chess is that players can take a break from games to solve some situational puzzles. If you know how to play chess, but you feel like your skills could still be improved, you can also check out the lessons provided.

Crossword Puzzle from Dictionary

For many senior citizens, solving the daily crossword puzzle became a part of their routine. They would open the morning paper, read through some of the main stories, and finish by taking a go at the puzzle of the day. On some days, the answers would come to you, but there were also those occasions when you could not come up with the word that fits 12 across.

Thankfully, crossword puzzles are still around today. They are even a bit different, so they are more user-friendly.

Players have the choice to choose the level of difficulty – which affects whether it shows hints – and they can also time themselves to see how quickly they solve the puzzle.

Plus, with new puzzles available every day, senior citizens will not run out of stimulating exercises to enjoy.

Hidden City: Hidden Object Adventure

Android and iOS

Hidden object games are great for senior citizens because they challenge them more unconventionally. Instead of figuring out the right move or coming up with a word that fits, players now need to identify which objects stand out in a given scene for one reason or another.

The great thing about this hidden object game is that players have so much content to explore. Players go through over sixty locations, and they can even complete numerous quests along the way.

This is also a hidden object game in the sense that there’s a story to follow, thus giving players more reasons to keep playing.

You can download this on your loved one’s device for free, although there are also in-app purchases available for those seeking additional content.

It’s Full of Sparks

Android and iOS

We mentioned earlier that 3D platforming games can be helpful to senior citizens because playing them can lead to positive changes showing up in the hippocampus. Sadly, most 3D platforming games are not free. A lot of them are also only playable on dedicated gaming consoles.

That’s why this platformer stands out as a great alternative.

It features a beautiful art style that pairs well with its intuitive gameplay mechanics. Time is of the essence too, so players will need to react quickly to their surroundings and find a way to accomplish their goal for a specific stage.

The game starts out simple enough, but the levels ramp up in difficulty as you progress. Finishing them can be a rewarding experience.

With over 80 levels to conquer, senior citizens can stay occupied and entertained for a long time.

Jigsaw Planet

Games are for passing the time while offering a welcome bit of stimulation. To complement a lazy afternoon, you can try to put a jigsaw puzzle together with your older loved ones.

Jigsaw puzzles can be difficult to solve at first. Once you link a few pieces together, though, the image starts to form in front of you, and you can get more motivated to see it through to its completion. Senior citizens can feel that same sense of excitement as well.

You and your older loved one can pick from a wide selection of jigsaw puzzles to solve. There are puzzles with fewer than 100 hundred pieces and others that exceed that mark. Choose one that you and your loved one like best and have fun!

Lumosity

Android and iOS

Lumosity is not only one game. It’s more accurate to say that it is a collection of different challenges designed to get your brain into gear.

Examples of brain functions that you can train with the help of Lumosity include your logic, your math skills, your memory, and even your problem-solving skills.

Beyond presenting you with different games to try, Lumosity also keeps tabs on your progress. It then analyzes your preferences and skill level to provide you with games you are more likely to enjoy.

New games are released via the app, thus allowing players to constantly experience something different. To introduce variety to playtime, it’s hard to beat Lumosity.

Minecraft

Even if you aren’t into games, you’ve probably heard of Minecraft. This classic video game does one thing above everything else, and that’s encourage players to express their creativity.

Players are not obligated to complete any missions. Instead, the focus is on allowing them to create about anything they can think of.

The game does present a challenge in the sense that players may need to defeat some enemies and farm for specific resources, but for the most part, you can do what you want in the game.

Technically, the full version of Minecraft is not free, although you can get it for a low price these days. You can still opt to download a 100-minute demo of the game for free and see if your older loved ones will like it.

Scrabble Go

Android and iOS

Scrabble has long been a favorite board game for families and friends. Few things are as satisfying as dropping that point-heavy word; especially, when there’s a triple word score space that will be hit.

It’s easy to lose those small tiles, though, but senior citizens don’t need to worry about them if they play online.

Scrabble is now an online game that people can enjoy on their mobile devices.

Apart from the traditional Scrabble games, you can also try out the new modes that include word search and rush mode offerings.

If you want to practice before playing other people, the app will allow you to do that.

Sudoku

For some senior citizens, their idea of relaxation may involve sitting down to solve a good logic puzzle. If that’s the case for your older relatives, then Sudoku may be a game they find interesting.

They published earlier variations of this number puzzle in French newspapers dating back to the late 19th century. However, the modern edition of it that people know today first started gaining attention in Japan during the 1980s.

By the 2000s, Sudoku was also starting to gain popularity in other parts of the world.

Senior citizens can now play Sudoku online, and they can even check how fast they complete a puzzle.

Tetris

Rounding out this list of free brain games for seniors is none other than Tetris. This immensely popular puzzle game was created back in 1984, and since then, it has been enjoyed by countless players all over the globe.

You know the drill. You have pieces of varied shapes, and your goal is to score as many points while continuously filling the blank spaces with the tiles. Once your blocks reach the top of the provided space, it is game over.

Newer iterations of Tetris have been made available over the years, but it’s hard to top the classic offering.

Contact Bethany Homes and Secure Expert Care for Your Loved Ones

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but that can happen if it is not stimulated regularly. Keep the minds of your older loved ones continuously engaged by providing them with great games to enjoy.

Partner up with Bethany Homes as well as they can help ensure that your older relatives will play those games on a daily basis.