According to a 2014 study by NIH, brain games and exercises that stimulate the brain help older adults maintain reasoning skills and result in improved cognitive abilities for 10 years.
Memory games and puzzles are great ways to boost your brain power and keep you mentally sharp and active. These games and exercises improve brain health and are a great way to overcome loneliness and social isolation. It is common in older adults to develop depression and anxiety over health issues, financial problems or the loss of a spouse. These games and puzzles can be very helpful in such situations.
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A wide variety of free printable brain games are available online. Here is a list of the 10 best printable brain games for seniors and elderly.
Top 10 Printable Brain Games For Seniors
1. Word Search
Word search puzzles help grow the vocabulary of players as they discover new words and their meanings. Completing a word search puzzle requires attention to details and patterns resulting in improving problem-solving attitudes among seniors.
The Word Search website offers hundreds of puzzles that are available to download and print as PDFs or images.
2. Sudoku Puzzles
Sudoku is one of the world’s most popular puzzle games. Sudoku does not require math skills but attention and focus and is based on logic. Sudoku puzzles are played in 9×9 grids and you are required to fill in the empty boxes. Each row, column and region must contain numbers 1 to 9 one time.
Reader’s Digest has a variety of printable sudoku puzzles with different levels of difficulty (easy, medium, hard and extra hard) that are available for free. You can download them in PDF format and print them to solve. You can start off with easy ones (first 5) and progress to more challenging options. Each PDF file comes with a puzzle and its solution in the bottom right corner.
The next Printable brain game that senior citizens love is Maze where the player starts from a starting point and chooses different paths in order to find the exit. A wrong choice results in a dead end.
There are many websites that offer a wide range of free Maze puzzles. Here are two great resources that provide Mazes of different difficulty levels.
- Yo Free Samples: This website has one of the largest collections of 20,000+ printable mazes of different difficulty levels (from Easy to Insane). The mazes are downloadable PDFs with 20 mazes in each book. Explore this massive collection and give yourself some quality fun time YoFreeSamples Massive Free Printable Mazes List
- Printablee: has a collection of hard mazes that will challenge your brain
The next entry in the printable brain games for seniors is Trivia questions. This game is excellent for jogging the memory and testing your knowledge of the past in a fun way. If seniors find some questions challenging, family or caregivers can make them easier by offering some hints. Trivia questions are an ideal group activity for seniors and older adults and do not require a lot of planning.
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Love To Know offers a great collection of trivia questions from the 1950s, 60s and 70s on different topics including history, music, sports and pop culture. Baby boomers can test their knowledge of post-World War II in the 1950s section. The 60s and 70s also saw a plethora of changes in all fields. Answering these trivia questions gives an opportunity for the elderly to revisit and share the past.
5. Word Scramble
Word Scramble is another fun word game that seniors love to play for a good brain workout. This game makes you think, recall and pay attention to solve or unscramble the words. Unscrambling random letters to create different words is a great brainstorming exercise and it is a fun group activity.
Here are some online resources that offer printable word scrambles on a variety of topics.
Printable Paradise has word scramble puzzles as PDF files that you can print to play on paper with a pen. Click on a puzzle of your choice and it will give an option (at the bottom of the puzzle) to save and print the puzzle and the answer sheet in PDF format (as below)
Printable Creative is another online platform with a large collection of word scramble puzzles divided into different categories like food and drinks, health and fitness, sports, countries, animals etc. Click on the puzzle that you like and you will get the option to download and print the PDF file that includes the worksheet and answer key. You can choose to download and print in A4 size paper or letter size.
6. Cryptogram Puzzles
A cryptogram is basically a quote that is encrypted by taking each letter in a quote to substitute it with another letter. Your task is to decrypt the hidden quote using pattern recognition and your grammar and vocabulary abilities.
You can download and print the cryptogram puzzles from the following websites.
Learn with Puzzles offers free cryptogram puzzles in different categories in PDF format with solutions. From US presidential quotes to Father’s Day cryptic quotes, you will find a variety of options.
Easy Teacher Worksheets has a large collection of cryptogram puzzles in different categories. You can print the worksheets and answer keys from the buttons in front of each puzzle.
7. Anagram Puzzles
Anagram is one of the printable brain games for seniors where an anagram is a result of rearranging letters of a word, phrase or sentence to form a new word or sentence.
Enchanted Learning has printable worksheets to solve the anagrams so check them out.
8. Rebus Puzzles
Rebus Puzzles get you thinking and help stretch your mind and stimulate creativity. It is a game where you guess the words that are hidden behind letters, symbols and random pictures. Rebus puzzles require a problem-solving attitude and vocabulary. It’s a brainteaser game that digs into your memory and is very beneficial for seniors and the elderly alike.
Printablee has a variety of Rebus puzzles that you can print and solve in your free time.
You can also visit the Puzzles to Print website for free printable Rebus puzzles worksheets with solutions.
9. Battle Ship
The objective of this game is to try and sink your opponent’s ships before they sink yours. This game is a solitaire version of a classic Battleship game in which you must hunt down a fleet of enemy ships.
KrazyDad has a collection of hundreds of Battleship puzzles with answers in PDF format to print and play. The puzzle books are ordered by difficulty levels so you can start with Book 1 and work your way up.
10. Dots and Boxes
The last game in this series is Dots and Boxes which is a great indoor or road trip activity for seniors. This game needs a sheet covered in a dotted grid allowing the players to connect the dots and try to complete the boxes.
This is a free collection of 10 printable brain games for seniors and older adults. These puzzles help to improve memory and make life enjoyable for senior citizens. Perfect for seniors living alone and keeping their brains stimulated.
So, print and enjoy.
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