Elderly Parents Brain and Mind Exercise Activities – Ideas for Games

Elderly Parents Brain and Mind Exercise Activities – Ideas for Games

Playing games with elderly parents who have dementia is beneficial in more ways than one.

Elderly games can help lighten the spirit of a senior struggling with dementia, and games can also help to keep their mind agile.

The brain is a muscle and to stay sharp it needs regular exercise. When choosing games for this purpose it is important for the game to be easy to play, but you don't want to insult the seniors by choosing games designed for children. The following ten games may help to keep the aging mind sharp.


Dominoes - an ideal game to play with someone who has dementia. The game is familiar to most and fairly easy to teach elderly parents and easy for them to play. In addition to this, the game can easily be modified to meet the needs of the individual playing. Dominoes can help a person with dementia stay sharp with numbers and concepts like matching.

elderly activities games playing dominos


Puzzles are a great activity for elderly parents to keep the aging mind agile. Puzzles help with problem solving, matching and coordination. It is important to make sure the puzzles you choose are appropriate for a person with dementia. The more advanced a person's dementia is the fewer pieces a puzzle should have. Additionally, make sure you avoid choosing children's puzzles because it can be viewed as not challenging.

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are ideal for people with mild to moderate symptoms of dementia. Crossword puzzles can be purchased in small or large print to accommodate any physical disability.

They can also be purchased in themes so you can select puzzles that are familiar to the person with dementia.


Chess is an excellent game for people with early onset dementia. It requires planning and strategy, so it really helps exercise the brain.

However, people with moderate to severe dementia may not be capable of playing a game as complicated as chess.


Checkers are ideal elderly games for people who have dementia. The game has basic rules that are easy to remember, and it requires them to use some basic strategizing. This game can replace chess for many people with dementia once their symptoms begin to accelerate.

elderly activities games playing cards


Card games like bridge are great for people with dementia. First and foremost, card games can be adapted because you can buy cards in different sizes to accommodate physical limitations. The game of bridge works the brain because it requires strategy and math, not to mention it can be social.

Puzzle Master Banner


Like crossword puzzles, Sudoku helps exercise the brain and keep the mind agile. Sudoku can also be purchased in large or small print. Sudoku is very popular so it is easy to find puzzles of varying skill levels. Sudoku goes one step beyond crossword puzzles because it also incorporates math into the problem solving.


Scrabble is an excellent game to exercise the mind, maintain word recognition, and infuse social activity into the lives of individuals with dementia. In fact, scrabble can also help improve memory and vocabulary when played on a regular basis.

Word Search

Games in which you have to find and circle certain words are ideal for people with early dementia.

Word search puzzles help maintain word recognition, and they keep the mind active. Like crossword puzzles and Sudoku you can purchase these puzzles in multiple themes and print sizes to tailor to the individuals needs.


Bingo is a fun, exciting, and social game for groups of elderly parents. It helps with focus, and number recognition. Bingo also has easy instructions so it can be played by people with varying degrees of dementia.

Elderly Parents Ideas for Games Back to Activities Page

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