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Activities to Keep Seniors Minds Active

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Key Summary

Stay engaged, mentally sharp, mobile, and socially connected to those around you with games and activities designed to keep your mind active. Learn more.

As we age, a slight loss in mobility and an increase in memory issues can be common. But there is no need to fret, as the list of fun activities for seniors is extensive. Stay engaged, mentally sharp, mobile, and socially connected to those around you with games and other exciting activities.

It is the perfect time to explore a new hobby or spend time revisiting an old favorite. While memory and brain games will improve mental health and boost your or your loved one’s mood and overall well-being. Physical activities like regular light exercise and using your hands can keep you mobile and agile. In this article, we will give you and your loved one some fantastic ideas for mental and physical activities tailored to seniors’ needs.

Physical Activities and Cognitive Games for Seniors  

There's a number of activities that can both support memory care and prevent the further development of cognitive degeneration.


Completing consistent physical activity as a part of your daily life is one of the best things you can do for your health. It lowers the risk of various diseases, makes everyday chores easier to tackle, and improves your overall mood.  

A rule of thumb can be to practice moving around more and sitting less whenever possible during the day. Discuss a possible physical activity routine with your doctor to determine the types of exercise that best suit your needs and a recommended cadence and time spent being physically active. Enjoy one or more of these physical activities alone or with friends and loved ones: 

  • Chair yoga
  • Stretching
  • Brisk walks
  • Strength exercises (I.e., exercise bands, weight machines, etc.)
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Balancing exercises (I.e., standing on one leg, walking backward, etc.)

Activities Involving the Use of Hands  

Keeping your hands busy will increase agility and skill. Routine activities that require you or your loved one to move your hand muscles will also strengthen fine motor skills. Here are several stimulating activities to choose from: 

  • Gardening
  • Making jewelry
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Playing an instrument
  • Knitting/crochet
  • Puzzles

Cognitive Games

Many games for seniors are designed to aid in keeping their minds active and improving memory functions. Working mentally stimulating activities into your daily or weekly routine will positively impact how you process and recall information. You or your loved one can choose games based on interest, and can choose to play with others to keep social bonds strong. For instance, pick a game that focuses on a topic you enjoy, like a movie or music trivia. Try any of these cognitive games to get those mental juices flowing:

  • Word Games 
  • Logic Puzzles 
  • Jigsaw Puzzles
  • Card Games 
  • Chess and Strategy Games 
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Sudoku
  • Trivia Games
  • Interactive Online Games
  • Read
  • Play Video Games (Super Mario is a favorite!)

Brain Games for Seniors with Dementia 

Seniors living with dementia will want to keep active mentally. Brain games should be fun and exciting, as we are never too old for a good time! Games can also be an excellent way for people with dementia to engage and enjoy interacting with friends, family, and caregivers, as continued social bonding is key to a happy, full, and purposeful life.

When picking a game to play, it is essential to consider your or your loved one's desired level of stimulation, abilities, and the difficulty level of the activity. For those experiencing later stages of dementia, long and involved games —especially games with many moving pieces —can become stressful or overwhelming. So, try to find a game they may be familiar with or one they can enjoy at a slower pace. Some fitting examples for seniors with dementia include:

  • Bingo
  • Card games
  • Dominoes
  • Small puzzles (36 to 100-piece puzzles are best for attention span and ease of frustration)

Many Assisted Living Communities offer a variety of tailored games, activities, and events for seniors. If you or your loved one like the idea of these activities being presented to you within reach, but need a bit of help and support, consider taking a look at our next article, "How Do I Know It Is Time for Assisted Living?"

Find a Senior Care Community Near You 

Playing games benefit seniors' mind, body, and spirit. They are a fantastic way to socialize, spend quality time with loved ones, maintain dexterity and agility, and sharpen the mind. Entertain and engage seniors with their favorite game or present them with a new activity to pique their interests.

Senior care communities have various games, activities, and events designed for seniors, including those living with dementia. Let Referah's Family Connection Agents find the best community suited for you or your loved one’s needs. We work closely with seniors and their families in communities across the country to help you find professional senior care and support near you. 

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