Board games are a fun, social way to spend your retirement years and keep your brain sharp. Playing board games can even be helpful for preventing and treating dementia (1). According to one study, seniors who regularly played board games had lower rates of depression and less cognitive decline (2). So let’s check out the best board games for seniors to help encourage socialization, reduce depression, and keep your mind sharp throughout your later years.
Chess is a classic for a reason! It’s probably the most strategic board game out there, and requires a lot of thought and planning to play well. The slower pace of the game also allows you to really connect one-on-one with another person. Never learned to play? Now is your chance! There are even online chess classes specifically for seniors! Check out one option here.
Scrabble is particularly effective to help prevent and treat dementia and cognitive decline. (3). The use of spatial reasoning and finding words seems to have big benefits for older people in particular. It’s also a fun game that most people know how to play, and can be played amongst a group of family and friends.
People in early to mid stages of memory loss diseases often find Yahtzee enjoyable. It relies enough on luck that people who are experiencing some memory loss can still play. You can also easily modify it for people in later stages of dementia.
While it is similar to Scrabble in the use of words in a grid pattern, Bananagrams seems to encourage more creativity–always a good thing for keeping your brain sharp (4). For those with vision loss or macular degeneration, Big Letter Bananagrams offers larger high-contrast tiles.
Dixit is a beautifully illustrated storytelling game that requires creativity and imagination to play. It’s easy to learn, with simple rules, and only takes about 30 minutes to play. It’s best to play Dixit in groups of 3 to 6 people, so it’s a great option for those who live in senior living communities.
If you like strategic conquest-style games, you will like Risk. Players use armies and artillery to attempt to “conquer” countries on a large map. Risk requires a lot of strategy and time, which makes it especially fun for retirees. You can play Risk with 2-6 people, so you can have fun one -on-one or in a group.
A fast-paced dice game, Quixx doesn’t take up a lot of space and can be played in just 15 minutes. It has similarities to Yahtzee, but plays faster and with a different strategy. Quixx is fun for all ages 8 and up and can be played with 2-5 players. It’s a great choice for playing a quick game with grandkids or younger relatives.
These 7 best board games for seniors are just plain fun. As an added bonus, playing board games regularly will help prevent cognitive decline, depression, and memory loss. Senior living communities are a great place to play these and many other games, like Bingo and Mahjong. Considering senior living? Check out a Stellar community near you today.