Fall is in full swing and the holidays are rapidly approaching. With holiday parties on the horizon, you might be wondering how you can make this year's family gatherings extra special for the senior members of your family. One of the best ways to create a memorable experience is to play some fun games that family members of all ages can play together. In order to keep senior citizens engaged, it is best to select games that are mentally stimulating, entertaining, and easy to learn. Below are five party games for seniors and their families to enjoy.
- Jigsaw puzzles
"Jigsaw puzzles do amazing things for the human mind. Whether you are looking for a puzzle for a senior in your family, or you are a caregiver you can be assured that the older adult you are buying for will benefit in many ways from improved memory, disposition, creativity, and brain chemistry." - Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults
Jigsaw puzzles are great for family gatherings for a number of reasons. First, a jigsaw puzzle does not have to be completed in one sitting. You can work on them in small chunks of time before and after holiday meals or while the food is cooking. Second, dozens of family members can work on them at various points in time during the day. Here are some tips to help get seniors excited about working on a jigsaw puzzle:
- Order a customized jigsaw puzzle that features last year's family photo or an image from your family's favorite travel spot
- Consider puzzles with vivid colors and bold designs to help boost interest
- Introduce a large piece jigsaw puzzle for seniors whose visibility is not perfect
Jenga is a table game that can be played with two or more players. The game kicks off by assembling the wooden Jenga blocks to build a vertical tower consisting of 18 layers of blocks. Each layer of blocks consists of three side by side blocks. The layer is then positioned 90 degrees from the blocks in the row below it.
Once the tower is assembled, the game begins! Players take turns removing single blocks from the tower and placing them carefully on top of the tower in a position that will not cause the tower to topple over. The goal of the game is to be the final player to successfully remove and stack a block on top of the tower without it collapsing.
In addition to providing hours of enjoyment for family members of all ages, Jenga provides valuable cognitive benefits to seniors. From improving fine motor dexterity to encouraging non-verbal reasoning, Jenga effectively promotes physical skills.
- Riddle Riddle Ree
This classic game is easy and fun seniors, children, and adults to enjoy together. To play a holiday version, have everyone gather in the same room and take a seat. The host can kick off the game by scanning the room and choosing an object of interest, making sure to keep the object's identity a secret. Then, the host speaks this phrase:
"Riddle, Riddle, Ree - I see something you don't see...And the color of it is (insert the color of the selected object)."
Then, the guests or family members can take turns guessing which object the host is referencing. The first person to guess correctly kicks off the next round by choosing the next object and repeating the phrase, "Riddle, Riddle, Ree - I see something you don't see..."
- Old Maid
Old Maid is a simple card game that dates back to the Victorian Age. Many senior citizens know how to play Old Maid, and can even help teach their children and grandchildren how to play it. The object of the game is to collect as many pairs of cards as possible while avoiding being stuck with the unmatchable "Old Maid" card.
After a dealer shuffles the deck and distributes all of the cards to players, each person reviews their hand and places any pairs they have face up on the table. Beginning with the dealer, players then offer the player to their left their hand of cards (face away from the other player) and that individual draws a card to add to their hand. If the selected card makes a pair, the player can place the pair on the table.
Children, teens, adults, and seniors can all enjoy playing Old Maid, making it a great game for parties involving family members from three or four different generations. It can be played with a special set of cards or any standard deck of cards, enabling most families to simply pull out a deck of cards and let the games begin.
Like Old Maid, Scrabble is a game that many senior citizens know and enjoy playing. The official rules of Scrabble are fairly simple and the game is designed to be enjoyed by two to four people. Players begin by randomly drawing seven lettered tiles from the Scrabble bag. Each tile contains a letter of the alphabet and a corresponding point.
Players then strive to accumulate points by using their letters to form words on the Scrabble board. If a player cannot form a word, he or she can exchange tiles or pass, but no points are earned. If any player passes twice in a row, the game is over and the player with the highest point total wins.
Scrabble's popularity among seniors has prompted manufacturers to develop large print scrabble tiles to facilitate reading. Other updated versions include tiles with black letters on a white background to facilitate readability for vision-impaired seniors.
The Bottom Line
As outlined above, games are a wonderful means of providing an enjoyable, stimulating shared experience for senior citizens and their family members. To discover more ways to keep your loved one engaged and happy, we invite you to contact us at Caring Senior Service. As the nation's most trusted provider of home care services for senior citizens, our goal is to help seniors enjoy a sense of independence as long as possible. We look forward to introducing you to our high quality of care and service!