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Seven Group Games for the Elderly to Play
By
Emoha Elder Care

 

When we are children, playing is second nature to us. Yet as we grow, we start losing touch with our playful side. Initially, this happens as we get busy with education, work, and other life’s responsibilities, and then the body starts losing its agility. By the time old age strikes, we have moved far away from games and sports.

 

However, playing is something that should be continued for as long as we are able to. Whether it is single-player games or group games, each game has loads of benefits to offer for both the mind and the body. Old age comes with its own challenges, and games can help beat many of them, such as:


●    Increasing social engagement, which is directly linked to the upliftment of mood and better mental health.
●    Better physical health, as playing group games may require light to heavy movement which is essential for normal functioning of the body.
●    Improved cognitive ability, as different games may require the players to remember things and use their mind for thinking.
 

Now that we have established that playing games have a lot of advantages for the elderly, the next question is which game to play. Well, here’s a list of super enjoyable group games for elders to play with their grandkids and family members:

 

1.    Bingo

Bingo is one of the most popular indoor group games played and loved by people of all ages. It was originally called “Beano”, until one day a New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe overheard someone accidentally yell "Bingo" instead of "Beano” and decided to name it that. 


Items Required to Play:

i.    A set of 25 numbers and a bowl to draw numbers from.

ii.    A piece of paper with a table of 5X5 which has random numbers printed on it along with a marker for every player.


These are common items that can be used to play many group games, making it a preferred choice of games at any time.

 

Instructions to Play:

i.    Every player is provided with a piece of paper with a random table of numbers till 25. 

ii.    The host then draws numbers one by one from the bowl and announces it. 

iii.    The players keep marking the announced numbers until one of them gets 5 numbers marked consecutively. It could be a row, a column or a diagonal. After this, the player declares their win by yelling “Bingo”.


Bingo is one of the most suitable games for the elderly as it does not require much physical activity and is played as a group game, giving the elders an opportunity to socialise with people of their own age, and brings a little bit of excitement to their daily lives. 

 

2.    Scrabble

Scrabble was invented by an architect named “Alfred Mosher Butts” and was originally called “Lexico”. It is a game played by a small group of people ranging from 2 to 4 people and is one of the most liked family group games. However, the host may organise Scrabble tournaments by inviting a larger number of people to play in sub-groups and win the grand prize by defeating challengers in the tournament.


Items Required to Play:

i.    Multiple sets of 15X15 boards and 100 plastic alphabets are required to play Scrabble, which is among the best group party games for children and elders alike.

 

Instructions to Play:

i.    The game contains 100 tiles, 98 of which are marked with a letter and a point value ranging from 1 to 10. The number of points for each lettered tile is based on the letter's frequency in standard English. Commonly used letters such as vowels are worth one point while less common letters score higher, with Q and Z each worth 10 points. The game also has two blank tiles that are unmarked and carry no point value. The blank tiles can be used as substitutes for any letter once laid on the board.


ii.    Finally, if seven tiles have been laid on the board in one turn known as a "Bingo" after all the words formed have been scored, 50 bonus points are added. The team with the higher scores is declared the winner.


Scrabble is one of the most useful games and activities for elders. Playing Scrabble regularly helps develop the ability to find items around the house. It will get the entire brain engaged, resulting in improved memory and cognitive skills.

 

3.    Bocce 

This Italian classic, which dates back to the Roman Empire is easy to learn and play. It is among the most loved outdoor group games loved by elders.


Items Required to Play:

i.    The standard set consists of 8 bocce balls, typically four green and four red, and a pallino, sometimes referred to as a “jack”, which is a smaller ball that is used to represent the target for the bocce balls during gameplay.

ii.    A measuring tape and a grass surface to play known as Bocce Court which is 13 feet wide by 91 feet long in dimensions.

 

Instructions to Play:

i.   Two teams compete against one another, tossing 8 bocce balls as close to the pallino as possible.
 

ii.   This is among the most enjoyable group games to play for seniors. Outdoors games are recommended by many world researchers for the elderly. And Bocce, being a group game, can make a fun day for the elderly in an open space. It involves a good amount of exercise and improves the immune system. 

 

4.    Passing the Parcel

Passing the parcel is a classic British party game in which a parcel is passed from one person to another. This game is played by a group of people in a sitting position and can be played in the comfort of the indoor space. It is among the most loved family group games and does not require much physical activity. Some benefits of the game would be improving the mood and enhancing the cognitive skills of the elderly.

  
Items Required to Play:

i.    A music box and a passing object such as a pillow or a parcel.

ii.   Various gifts wrapped in gift paper which are to be given to the winners.

 

Instructions to Play:

i.    The host plays the music while the parcel is passed around in circles until the host stops the music at any random instant. Whosoever is holding the parcel at that point is eliminated. Passing the parcel is among the most fun-filled large group games when played fairly. Make sure that the host is not able to see the passing of the parcel for fair gameplay.
 

ii.    This playing and stopping of the music continues and people keep getting eliminated. The last person who does not have the parcel when the music stops is declared the winner and is given the prize.
 

iii.    This game can be played multiple times throughout the day giving everyone the opportunity to win.

 


5.    Year of Invention

This is one of the best group games for memory that hold a special interest in people who have always been fascinated by the history of the country or the inventions that happened since the beginning of mankind. It benefits the memory and helps seniors identify objects.


Items Required to Play:

i.   Ten everyday objects and details about their origin/history.

 

Instructions to Play:

i.   Place all the objects on a table and number them from one to ten. Hand out sheets of paper that are numbered the same way and have each player write down the year they think each object was invented. (Make sure that nobody has access to an Internet-enabled device.) 
 

ii.   Score each player's sheet: Six points for correctly guessing the exact year, three points for being within 50 years, or one point for being within 100 years. 
 

iii.   The player with the highest points in total wins the game.

 

6.    Photo Puzzle Race

It is among the most fun group games which a big group of people can play together. It helps in enhancing the senses of the elderly by making them identify various colours, thus stimulating the brain, which improves the memory and helps them find various objects in day to day life.

 

Items Required to Play:

i.   Large coloured photos of either common objects or the players themselves.

 

Instructions to Play:

i.   Get large coloured photos, preferably of the people who will be playing the game. Cut each of the photos into smaller puzzle pieces. 
 

ii.   Split players up into different teams and have them compete to see which team can solve their puzzle the fastest.

 

7.    Name That Tune

It is a musical game loved by people of all ages. It helps in regulating blood pressure by providing a relaxed environment while having a friendly competition. It has a positive effect on the mental health of the elderly. This could be one of the most exciting group party games for the elderly it acts as a mood enhancer too.

 

Items Required to Play:

i.   A music box and favourite songs that create feelings of nostalgia for the seniors.

 

Instructions to Play:

i.   Start playing one of the songs, pausing the music after a few seconds. See if anyone can guess what it is. Keep playing and pausing the song until someone makes the correct guess. Do the same for the remaining songs. Give prizes to each of the winners.

 

Games bring out the child hidden inside, create happiness, and impact the body in a positive way. Apart from the seven games mentioned here, there are plenty of fun group games for elders to indulge in on a regular basis. Elders often find the best game partners in their grandchildren and other family members, and as young people, it is our responsibility to support them in the same. 


However, elders who do not live with their family may not find  good company to enjoy the games. This is where Emoha Elder Care comes into the picture. Emoha is a community of elders and caregivers who interact with them and care for them. They participate in group activity games, take care of their health and day-to-day needs, help them stay safe, and assist with managing their overall life. For us, it is always #EldersFirst
 

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