Many seniors develop memory issues, whether it’s a disease like dementia or age-related memory loss. In fact, 20% of people over 65 have some form of mild cognitive impairment.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to boost mental strength and memory without drugs. The process can be fun and interactive too.

By playing memory games regularly, the elderly can retain the memory they have and improve their mental alertness. Let’s go over eight games you can try out.

1. Word Games

There are all sorts of word games that provide enjoyable cognitive challenges. Most of them only require a pen or pencil.

Start doing a crossword puzzle several times a week. Find versions that suit your skill level.

If crossword puzzles aren’t for you, try jumble. This game requires you to reconstruct a word from a series of jumbled up letters based on a hint.

You can also opt for the “find the word” game in which you must locate all the words on a list within a grid of letters. This helps with mental focus.

Regardless of the word game you choose, there are paper or online versions. Try teaming up with a friend to complete the game or competing to see who can finish first.

2. Jigsaw Puzzles

A classic game that can help improve your memory is a jigsaw puzzle. They’re challenging and can also help reduce stress.

An advantage of a jigsaw puzzle is you can take your time. If you want to challenge yourself, try one with thousands of pieces and work on it over the course of a week or two.

Jigsaw puzzles are also fun in a group. Have each person take on a particular area and complete it together.

If you have vision issues and can’t navigate a jigsaw puzzle, there are other fun activities that provide the same kind of mental challenges. Look into things like audiobooks or arts and crafts.

3. Sudoku

If you’re a number person, Sudoku is a great way to enhance your mental alertness and increase your memory. This game is perfect for people of all ages and skill levels.

Sudoku requires you to use a logical approach to identifying numeric patterns. You must fill each grid on the Sudoku board with every number from one to nine. The board is partially filled in, which means there’s only one possible solution to the puzzle.

In addition to strengthening mental focus and memory, the game also boosts the decision-making process. This can help seniors retain their ability to tackle real-world problems.

4. Chess

Another classic game that will improve memory and cognitive dexterity is chess. Some people are intimidated by it for its reputation as a complex game, but anyone can play it.

Chess requires the player to form a strategy based on the placement of the pieces on the board. There are strict rules that dictate how each piece can move.

Playing chess will help boost your ability to concentrate and remain patient. It’s a great way to block out any other thoughts that may cause distractions.

Chess requires two players, so find a partner you enjoy spending time with. If you’re a beginner, the best way to learn is to start playing with someone who can show you the ropes as you go.

5. Video Games

The idea of someone over the age of 65 playing video games may sound silly. However, many seniors enjoy the cognitive benefits of playing.

Video games require you to make quick responses. This will help with hand-eye coordination. You also have to use your memory to remember rules or the progress you’ve made during a game.

There are plenty of video games that simulate puzzles and cognitive challenges. However, racing or role-playing games will also help sharpen your mind.

If you don’t want to invest in a game console, use a tablet or laptop and download a game that looks entertaining. There are many free or low-cost games out there.

6. Board Games

If you want to improve your memory and also enjoy social interaction, board games are your best bet. There are countless options available.

Scrabble is a classic brain-bending game. If you like words and crossword puzzles, start playing it with a friend every week.

Monopoly requires you to strategize, count money, and make constant decisions. You have to stay sharp if you want to win.

Even something simple like checkers will help boost your memory and mental strength. It’s simple to play but still requires strategizing and quick decision-making.

7. The Suitcase Challenge

A great memory game for groups is the suitcase game. It’s similar to the game “telephone” you may have played as a child.

During the suitcase game, a group of people must sit in a circle. The more people playing, the more challenging the game.

The first person states an item they would pack in a suitcase when going on a trip. The next person repeats the name of the item and declares one of their own.

Each person must remember and repeat each item that came before them. If you can’t remember them all, you’re out. In addition to boosting your memory, you’ll also have some great laughs.

8. Card Games

Most card games require memorization, strategy, and decision-making. Find a game you and your friends love and make it a point to play several times a week.

Gin rummy is very social and requires both concentration and memory. Other social games include poker, go-fish, and bridge. Each of these will help sharpen your cognitive strength.

If you don’t have any partners, play a few games of solitaire. This requires analysis and patience, both of which will help boost your memory.

Turn to Memory Games for Mental Clarity

Developing memory issues as you age can be frustrating and defeating. However, if you make it a point to challenge your mind in healthy ways, you can keep your cognitive abilities strong.

Try each of the memory games discussed above and find one you and your friends enjoy.

We hope this article has been informative. Feel free to browse the rest of our site for more health-related content.