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Brain health can be significantly impacted by changes that arise naturally as we age, putting seniors at higher risk for memory and other cognitive issues. In addition to memory issues -- aka those “senior moments” many of us and our loved ones seem to mention -- anxiety, depression and other manifestations of brain health and changes can occur. But, playing brain games can help.

Happy old couple smiling in a park on a sunny day

Benefits of Brain Games for Seniors

1. Literal improvements in your brain structure.

Brain games, including learning new languages or a musical instrument in addition to the types of branded “brain games” you’ll find as board games, or phone apps have been shown to improve brain structures and neuroplasticity.

It’s even more reassuring to know that these effects are noticed in healthy individuals and those with mild cognitive impairment!

2. Better, increased socialization.

The incidence rate of depression among seniors is alarming, and increased social activity has been shown to have a dramatic impact.

Loneliness not only affects our mental well being, but can also have significant impacts on our physical health. Particularly for seniors with other health issues, depression can lead to higher risk of death or serious illness, including depression, heart disease, and yes, cognitive decline (even Alzheimer’s disease).

In other words, it’s something to take very seriously!

Playing brain games with others, then, is a double whammy for brain health in seniors, staving off loneliness and depression and providing needed “exercise” for the brain. It’s a win/win!

Look for opportunities to nudge your senior loved ones toward game nights with family, or toward spending more time playing games with friends. A local senior center may offer some brain games activities for seniors. And of course, here at Veranda of Pensacola, we have a range of brain games, activities and opportunities for seniors who reside in our community to enjoy time together while giving their brains a workout.

3. Benefits last a long time

During a 5 to 6-week study with 2,800 seniors 65 and over, researchers found that improvements to memory, reasoning and speed of processing information weren’t just notable - they lasted at least 5 years!

They even impacted everyday tasks like managing money and doing housework, which means that a commitment to brain games and staying sharp can improve quality of life for your senior loved ones for years to come.

Types of Brain Games for Seniors

Although smartphone apps may come to mind, there are a range of brain games and activities that can provide a myriad of health benefits for the seniors in your life, including:

Board games

Those classic board games we all played as kids (and adults) can provide Mom or Dad with a cognitive boost today. The same rules and skills that made your loved one a cunning competitor during family game nights years ago can help them improve brain health today. Trivia and word games (like Trivial Pursuit, Boggle or Scattergories) offer an especially compelling boost.


This one is an oldie, but a goodie! Chess provides an excellent brain workout by requiring strategy and memorization, among other cognitive skills.

Word puzzles

These are a great option for seniors who don’t wish to get out and about too much, and prefer to spend time alone. Although not as beneficial as group or peer brain games, word puzzles are a tremendous option.

Senior Living in Pensacola Can Help Support Your Loved One’s Health

From brain games to proper diet and medical oversight, there are so many details that add up to a profound impact on health for the seniors in your life. Now more than ever, choosing the right senior living community is essential. Here at Veranda of Pensacola, our independent and assisted living options provide the flexibility and support your loved one needs to stay happy and healthy, and YOU the peace of mind you need.

To learn more or schedule a tour, contact us here or at (850) 308-5442.

Why Choose Senior Living Now?
Why Choose Senior Living Now?
What's it like for seniors in an independent living community?
What's it like for seniors in an independent living community?