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Memory Exercise for Seniors


It's widely thought that games can help senior citizens with memory loss and brain activity, and there is little wonder that that is true. Many people, however, have difficulty trying to figure out which games can actually be played by senior citizens However; it is not very hard to make up games by using older ones as foundations. Here are some great ideas for fun, interactive activities that senior citizens will enjoy.

SCRABBLE

This is a great game to play with senior citizens. People can easily get consumed by it. Best of all, it helps retain memory and keeps up mental health. To play another fun version of Scrabble, have senior citizens pick out subjects from a hat. Make the subjects very broad, so as not to make the game too difficult or almost impossible to play.

INDOOR HORESHOES

This game can be made or bought from a toy store. There are usually plastic toys of the “horseshoes” kind, and they involve a plastic pole and plastic rings. This is a great game for senior citizens because they can get moving without causing any serious injuries.

VIDEO GAMES

Some studies have shown that video games have helped senior citizens to sharpen their memories. This is especially great for those with Alzheimer’s. Choose video games that are strategic or puzzle-like. The Wii is becoming very popular in the senior citizen community, and it is not very hard to see why. With a new, interactive way to use the remote control, and with games like golf, senior citizens really can have as much fun as the younger generation.

BINGO

Try spicing Bingo up by having the winners call out the numbers. You can also tell them to add certain numbers to the number called. For example, before starting a game, announce that every number has to be added “plus three.” That means that if number 39 was called, then it is actually number 42. This helps gets some brain activity going.

A BIG GAME OF PICTIONARY

If a blackboard or whiteboard is available, use it to your advantage. Play a little Pictionary. Have them work in teams to develop a sense of community and teamwork. Have each team take turns making the pictures.

COLLAGE

Take lots of pictures (be sure that they’re copies) and cut them up so that each person has at least a few of his/her face. You will make a huge collage, using magazines and ads, and discreetly place a picture of each person in the collage. Try to make it challenging, but not impossible. Have them work in teams to pick out the faces of each person in each team. This is a great game for senior citizens who have difficulty with their memories.

PUZZLES

Purchase 500-or 1000-piece puzzles. You can set them up into teams, or have them work individually. The person or team who finishes first can receive a prize. If it is done as a whole group on 1000-puzzle, when it is finished have it varnished and framed. This is a great game for senior citizens on the whole, but may not be suitable for those who have trouble handling very small objects.

There are many other games that are fun and engaging for senior citizens. The key is to make sure that they involve the mind, because this is essentially the part of the body which is used less and less often, and which can deteriorate quite quickly. The best games for senior citizens are those which incorporate both the mental and physical well-being of the participants.