Best Memory Games for Seniors

June 8, 2020

Best Memory Games for Seniors

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As our loved ones age, their cognitive abilities begin to slow down. Many seniors experience illnesses such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s and start to lose their memory. It’s all too common and horrible to watch without being able to do anything. Memory games and puzzle books are a great way to hold off this cognitive deterioration and support active brain use in their minds. 

Memory games for seniors at a glance

  1. Brain Games #1: Lower Your Brain Age
  2. Our favorite: Keeping Busy Wooden Tangram Puzzle
  3. Brain Games – Picture Puzzles: Remember When?
  4. Brain Games – Puzzles: Left Brain Right Brain
  5. Trivia for Seniors: 365 Questions and Riddles

Finding the perfect memory game for your senior loved one can be difficult as there are so many options available. How do you know which ones work? We’ve compiled a list of five best memory games for seniors – puzzle books, wooden tangrams, etc. – to make a choice a little bit easier. Your elderly family members will love the products, and you’ll notice a difference soon.

Top 5 Best Memory Games for Seniors Reviewed

This list consists of puzzle books, trivia, and hands-on puzzles, which all support the retention of your loved one’s memory as they age. Every product on this list is a fantastic way to keep your senior’s mind active and their memory present. While we certainly have a favorite, each of the products on this list will be effective and beneficial if you choose them. We present to you our top five favorite memory games for seniors. 

1. Brain Games #1: Lower Your Brain Age

This might be considered the ultimate puzzle book for adults and seniors. The vast amount of options available is simply staggering. There are about 215 puzzles in the book of varying styles and difficulties – anything from memory games to Sudoku to math puzzles.

The games in this book keep your mind active and to facilitate memory stimulation for adults and seniors. If a puzzle seems to be too difficult, the wide range of difficulties enables you to practice until you’re great at them.

Our Review

There’s nothing more beneficial to an elderly mind than a book of stimulating and thought-provoking puzzles, and this is one of the best puzzle books available. Browsing through it, you encounter many different types of puzzles ranging from Sudoku, math, and word puzzles to crosswords, cryptograms, and more.

With 215 different puzzles, you’ll find yourself working through the book for months – it might even last you a year! The puzzles aren’t too simple nor too difficult and will provide the perfect amount of work to keep your loved one’s thinking and actions.

Our favorite feature of this book has to be the introductory read on brain fitness, where the book explains how to work and enhance your brain as you use this book – and in many other facets.

We did notice that the difficulty level of some of the puzzles seemed to be a puzzle itself as they were inconsistent and often misleading. Some puzzles might be easy, but a couple of hours later, you find yourself unsure of how even to start. Overall, this is a fantastic puzzle book with a variety that will keep your mind stimulated and active, especially in your later years.

Pros

  • 215 different puzzles
  • Wide range of puzzle options and difficulties
  • Brain fitness introduction explains how to stay mentally active
  • Questionnaire personalizes your experience

Cons

  • Difficulty rating is misleading at times

2. Keeping Busy Wooden Tangram Puzzle

While puzzles are a fantastic way to keep your mind active, some of us are more kinesthetic learners. For anyone who needs a more hands-on approach to keeping your mind awake and your memory running, this wooden tangram puzzle is a great option. It’s designed to aid those who have Dementia and Alzheimer’s and hosts a difficulty level designed for seniors. The three full-sized puzzle templates are perfect for all stages of Dementia. 

Our Review

This wooden tangram puzzle by Keeping Busy has been tested and proven effective for anyone who has Alzheimer’s or Dementia. It’s as useful for your elderly loved one as it is fun. Your goal is to fill the template with the wooden blocks provided and make the desired picture. It’s much more difficult than you might expect, but not too hard that it puts strain on an elderly brain.

The smooth, wooden pieces are tactile and pleasing to hold, which inspires more creativity and encourages the use of motor skills. We loved the feel of these blocks and enjoyed simply holding with them and building with them. This is an enjoyable product and one that inspires memory functions, even when not using the templates.

We do wish there were more templates available in the initial package as some seniors might breeze through them and be left searching for another activity. The difficulty level does range rather well for all stages of Dementia, but even so, more templates would be beneficial to all. This product is a fantastic method of memory fitness for those who appreciate a more hands-on approach.

Pros

  • Tested for all stages of Dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Smooth and tactile wooden blocks are fun to play with
  • Difficulty is designed for aging seniors
  • Easy to read and understand instructions

Cons

  • Only three templates in the package

3. Brain Games – Picture Puzzles: Remember When?

The perfect puzzle book for a memory jog, this book focuses on life in the early 20th century. It includes pictures, puzzles, and quotes that will bring your loved ones back to a time where they grew up. This puzzle book is mostly a picture comparison book where your goal is to find what’s missing between the two.

It includes 192 spiral-bound pages and ranges from the 1940s to the 1970s in terms of pictured eras – the period your elderly loved ones lived through. 

Our Review

There’s no better memory exercise than nostalgia, and this book focuses on providing you with a blast to the past. The period it focuses on ranges from the 40s and home life during this time to civil unrest throughout the 60s and 70s. Political figures, cars, utilities, moments in history – all of them are re-portrayed and bound in this 192-page puzzle book. It allows your loved ones to reminisce about the past while solving puzzles and keeping their brains active. 

The varying difficulty levels allow anyone to use this book and experience its cognitive benefits. If you’re having trouble with solving a certain image, the answers are available in the back of the book so that it won’t go unfinished. The simplicity and comfort of this puzzle book is one of its biggest strengths.

We found it to be perfectly weighted in difficulty, and the trip down memory lane was impressive as well. 

The main issue we had with this book was the repetitive nature of the puzzles. While there are varying levels of difficulty, it’s all the same type of puzzle. The lack of variety wasn’t too alarming as it tells you this is a picture matching book before you get started. We loved this book, and the nostalgia trip it brings your loved one’s down will be great for their minds. 

Pros

  • Nostalgic pictures from the 40s through the 70s
  • Range in the difficulty of the puzzles
  • Answers available in the back

Cons

  • Only one type of puzzle

4. Brain Games – Puzzles: Left Brain Right Brain

What many puzzle books fail to realize is that there are two sides of the brain that operate differently – both of which need to be exercised equally. This book allows your loved ones to revive both the left side and right side of their brains to stimulate memory and creativity in their later years. The puzzles in this book have a wide variety and aren’t too difficult. They’re designed for senior minds and have an appropriate level of difficulty for them.

Our Review

It was refreshing to experience puzzles that focused on both sides of the brain. Every learns differently, and this book fosters that varying style of cognitive growth, especially in an older mind. The puzzles this book includes are both fun and focus on memory so that your loved one doesn’t have to work to keep their mind active. It comes with both picture puzzles and word puzzles, which allow you to focus on which side of the brain you’re using. 

We loved the inclusion of narrative essays that explain the cognitive process and how to keep it active in your later years. This is important reading for both you and your loved ones as it helps foster an understanding of what you need to do to keep their memory and their minds active. These were especially useful as they provided an understanding as to how the fitness of both sides of the brain was useful.

We did notice there was no real indication of what part of your brain the puzzles were intending to activate. For the most part, it wasn’t too difficult to code-switch as needed, but it would have been beneficial to have a helpful indicator. This was a fantastic puzzle book that helps keep your loved one’s minds active as they age. 

Pros

  • Focused on both halves of the brain
  • Stimulates creativity 
  • Varying types and difficulties of puzzles

Con

  • No indication of what side of the brain was being activated

5. Trivia for Seniors: 365 Questions and Riddles

This is easily one of the largest books on our list as it hosts 365 memory riddles. This book is better suited for someone who works well in solving tricky wording and interesting word puzzles. It’s more of a trivia book than a puzzle book, but it works well to keep senior minds active and focused as they age. It comes in the form of a paperback or a kindle and is great for on the go learning and cognitive exercise for your elderly loved ones. 

Our Review

To start out, the title is a little bit misleading. Most of this book is simply trivia knowledge and questions with rather straight forward answers. When we picked this book up, we were expecting more of a riddle and a word playbook, but only found 365 different questions. That being said, trivia is an amazing way to help improve your senior’s memory as it helps bring up past information they might have and stimulates cognitive growth. 

As far as trivia books go, this is a fantastic option for your elderly loved ones. It’s mostly a generic knowledge style book that proves to be quite useful and can be reused over and over as a test to see how well they’ve grown. Many puzzle books are good for one use, but this book acts as a test that users can do again to improve upon previous scores. 

Overall, this is a fantastic book that helps keep your mind active and offers a years’ worth of interesting and fun trivia questions. It’s a great way to spend the time and to bring together a retirement community. 

Pros

  • 365 different trivia questions
  • Supports cognitive growth and development
  • Acts as a test that can be retaken

Cons

  • Not too many puzzles or riddles

Speak with Your Doctor

Puzzles aren’t the final step to fending off diseases such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s, they’re simply a way to keep the brain active and support the duration of their memory. If your loved one is showing signs of early memory loss or either of these serious brain diseases, speak with your doctor to learn what to do next. The memory games we mentioned are great for supporting cognitive growth, even at later stages of life, but they aren’t the biggest shield for their memory. 

Other care options exist that will help support your loved one’s minds as they go through the difficulties of aging. The memory games for seniors on our list are a fantastic way to be there for them and to assist in the retention of their memory. Supporting your loved ones in their later stage of life is now made more hands-on with the interactive memory games. 



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