Indoor games & their numerous health benefits
Dust off the board games that are lying on the top of your cupboard and put them to use. Indoor games can be one of the best ways to keep seniors’ mind healthy and active. It offers a lot more than just entertainment. Playing games, of any kind, grants numerous health and mind benefits. It keeps your mind young, active and entertained at the same time.
Please have a look at the amazing health benefits of such activities, and maybe you can try some of the ideas that are given below:
1) Creates happiness, reduces stress
While participating in a game, there is always a good amount of laughter. Laughing together and having fun can keep the seniors happy and healthy.
2) An opportunity to spend time together/ socialize
While growing up we often forget that our parents too are growing old. Often the family members have different schedules which push us in different directions. But playing games (maybe a card game) even for a short while with your elderly loved ones is a perfect way to spend time together. We may not realize the importance but for them, it’s quality time and a priceless gift.
3) Memory formation and cognitive skills
Board games or any indoor games help us to practice essential cognitive skills and enhance the parts of the brain responsible for complex thought and memory formation. Creative indoor games help the brain retain and build cognitive associations well in old age.
4) Keeps the risks for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia at bay
Keeping the mind of seniors’ active and engaged means they are exercising the brain and building it stronger. A stronger brain has lower risks of losing its power and thus reduces the risk of cognitive decline, such as associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
5) Lowers blood pressures
Laughter helps in producing endorphins (a chemical that gives the feeling of happiness) and that naturally help muscles to relax and blood to circulate which will evidently lower blood pressure.
6) Improves immune system
Positive feelings and thoughts, like the laughter and enjoyment that always comes with board games or card games, improve immunity by releasing some chemicals that fight stress and boost the immune system.
7) Therapy treatment (coordination and dexterity)
Many board games require the use of fine motor skills to pick up or move pieces, actions that take both coordination and dexterity. Regular practice and activity improve their basic skills which are important to elderly.
Ideas of Indoor Games:
1. Card Games
Card Games such as bridge, rummy; pinochle etc. can stimulate the brain and help memory loss. When we lack mobility, card games are the go-to for all occasions. Card games are easy to play indoor games you can play while sitting at your chair or on your comfy sofas. There are many card game applications as well, that you can play via your computer, smartphone or tablet. Similar to the other benefits of indoor games, card games improve cognitive stimulation, relieves stress, and helps with socialisation. Here are the well-known card games popular among seniors.
Pinochle - A popular card game for elders available in many variations.
Bridge - A card game is known to help keep a sharp mind.
Rummy - Amongst the most popular games of all time, Rummy is good to play with two or three players. So call your friends to challenge them for a match.
Canasta - Popular since 1950s, a continuous hit in the list of indoor games.
Solitaire - Popular in all generations, solitaire comes in various interesting variations.
Cribbage - Comes with membership clubs, cribbage is one of the most-liked indoor games.
Big Two - A competitive card game, requires smart strategy so be ready to bring your friends into the battleground.
Chinese Poker - A fun-filled game in variations with 13 cards divided into three poker-style hands.
2. Tennis Ball Race
Don’t worry, you don’t need to play tennis. Although this fun games required good muscle strength and hand-eye coordination. There’s no need to use racquets while playing this game. Instead, you’ll need to get two tennis balls to pass around. The goal of the game is to pass one ball as fast to catch up with the other ball.
3. Board Games
Seniors can enjoy board games like scrabble, carom, Ludo, dominoes, world safari, monopoly, bingo etc. Board games are a nostalgic pleasure for adults as well as the older generation. It’s a great way to interact with other seniors and share their sweet memories.
Scrabble - A tiled word game, played among two or more players to challenge each other's vocabulary skills.
Backgammon - Popular among two or more players, it’s one of the oldest indoor board games of all time.
Ludo - It’s the name prevalent in almost all indoor games. Played with two or more players, it has a high rate of calling your friends a “cheater.”
GO - One of the best indoor games, known to be popular in the Asian community. It is similar to Othello and Reversi.
Chess-A timeless classic out of the entire list of indoor games. You become more pro at it with age.
Chinese checkers - A great indoor game for 6 players to have a good and thrill time.
Hive - An abstract game, that’s quick to understand and play while placed at any flat surface.
Trivial Pursuit - Be ready to test your knowledge, memory and sharpness. It’s played across six diverse categories.
4. Puzzle (Solo) Games
Puzzles are always fun, be with childhood or old age. Some indoor games are only packed to enhance the brain’s problem-solving abilities to keep mental agility for years to come.
Crossword Puzzle - Grab your newspaper, or buy various crossword puzzles for some comforting along with the game. It helps to test vocabulary skills and expand your language skills.
Candy Crush - Phone games like candy crush saga are highly-preferred computer games for senior citizens.
Sudoku -A number-based puzzle game present in all newspapers and magazines.
Word Jumbles -Filled with real brain teasers, word jumbles are always an interesting indoor game to spend your borning day.
Word search puzzles - Whether you opt for playing online or on traditional pen and paper format, it’s a fun time-kill indoor game.
Jigsaw Puzzles - Confusing at the start and relaxing when things are placed correctly, jigsaw games are interesting mind games for seniors.
This game involves tile matching. The players simply locate matching tiles and remove them in pairs until they can’t go further or they clear them all.
6. In my suitcase (memory game)
In this game, one person lists an object and the next person has to repeat the previous names and then add his or her own, and so on.
7. What’s That Saying
This game includes hundreds of well-known sayings. Players are given clue words to figure them out. Be the first to guess the correct saying!
Sharing with friends and family the most memorable events, favorite holiday, best advice received, best advice given, funniest moment, favorite memory etc.
9. Guess the song
One person plays songs, shares lyrics, or gives clues and the rest guess which song it is.
10. Computer Games
Online games are new fun these days for older adults. There are more than a hundred websites with brain-boosting games online that help to improve memory and mental health in the elderly. Even if you are not equipped with tech and computer, online games are easy to find, quickie to use and fun to spend hours on.
11. Crossword Puzzles
Other interesting word games like Spellathon, make words, weave a story etc.
Other peaceful & brain-boosting Indoor Games Ideas
You’ll love to play Pictionary with your friends. All you have to do is to understand what your friends draw. It includes two erasable markers, boards for drawing and your beautiful mind to understand the clues.
It’s a fun-filled and easiest indoor game to play at home. You’ll need a circle of the large or small friend group, whoever you wish to tolerate with more. It’s commonly played among older adults in parks or who attend daycare centres, even at home while inviting your friends. Bingo not only stimulates your mind and makes you happy but also contains various health habits for adults.
Similar to the benefits of indoor games, Bingo also helps stimulate three key senses: hearing, touch and sight. It’s also great in terms of socialization that reduces loneliness and improves the quality of wellbeing.
3. Art and Craft
Art is always the most therapeutic experience at any age. Making or creating things is a great way to use your imagination and relive the memories of childhood in older people. It also improves the agility of hands and fingers while creating cute /artistic items for the home or gifting it to friends and family. Art and craft are to be enjoyed for a lifetime and it doesn’t always have to be elaborate or expensive, either. Ideas - Upcycle your old frames using paper collage or create greeting cards using a magazine or knitting items for your grandchildren.
4. Brain-training Online Apps
Use various brain training apps present in your smartphone, or tablets that help to train the brain or elderly people. The apps are greatly effective in enhancing visual-spatial skills, concentration and problem-solving abilities.
You’ll find a lot of free and paid apps online, ranging from simple word-connection games to more complex games and activities. All you have to do is simply answer the regular question while sitting at the comfort of your home. Some well known brain-training apps are Fit Brains Trainer and NeuroNation.
There is no such thing as “age-appropriate” when it comes to play. At every age play is not a luxury, it is a necessity!