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Game night! A fun time for the whole family or for special group of friends. It’s also a good time to improve Senior Brain Health – a win-win scenario.

Classic games are fun for seniors
Games are perfect for a relaxing visit with your older adult. Some are great for groups, like when grandkids visit, and others are ideal for quality one-on-one time.

Games are great for senior brain health
Don’t underestimate the health benefits of playing games! They improve senior brain health by encouraging different ways of thinking — strategy, keeping track of things, and math. Plus, simply having fun with other people keeps seniors happily engaged in life and avoids the health dangers of senior isolation.

Games encourage family and friend visits
Some family and friends might avoid visiting because they feel awkward when they don’t know what to say or do. Playing a game together is a great way to take the pressure off forced conversation. It gives everyone a chance to get to know each other better through a shared activity.

5 games that seniors (and you!) will love 

  1. Checkers
    Try this $21 large size soft board with easy-grip pieces and tic-tac-toe on the back or this basic $7 set.
  1. Bingo
    Home bingo sets aren’t as nice as professional ones, but it’s a fun game. Try this $50 set with wood balls or this $19 set with plastic balls.DailyCaring tip 1: Trace the letters and numbers on the balls with a permanent marker if they’re too hard to read.DailyCaring tip 2: You can buy extra bingo cards and use regular markers instead of those little plastic chips to mark the spaces.You could also play for free by using a free online bingo caller and printing your own bingo cards (choose “one numeric bingo card per page” for the largest size).
  1. Connect Four
    This is a vertical tic-tac-toe game that’s fun for young and old. Here’s the $10 original Hasbro game (the construction is more flimsy these days, ah well).
  1. Yahtzee
    Yahtzee is a fun dice game that keeps the brain sharp. Here is a $10 version from Hasbro.You could also play for free by buying some dice, printing your own score cards (PDF), and following the official game rules (PDF).
  2. Card games
    Card games are great because you can make them simple or complex. Here are instructions for a variety of card games, in order from easiest to most challenging:

Bottom line
Fun games are a great way to keep seniors happy, engaged in life, and exercising their brains. They also help visitors feel more at ease and allow closer relationships to develop.

It’s also a smart strategy to get family and friends to come over more often. After all, “Come over for game night!” sounds a lot more fun than “You should really visit Dad more.”

By Connie Chow, Contributing Writer and Founder of DailyCaring
Image: About Parenting

Photo of Connie Chow, founder of DailyCaring

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